Cape Girardeau Municipal Court – Cape Girardeau, MO

by | Oct 26, 2021

A municipal court is a court with small jurisdiction over criminal offenses and civil matters inside its area. These courts can be located at the county or city level.

Cape Girardeau Municipal Court INformation

Court: Cape Girardeau Municipal Court
Address: “2536 Maria Louise Lane, Cape Girardeau, MO 63701”
Phone: 573-339-6323

City: Cape Girardeau
County: Cape Girardeau
State: Missouri

What is the purpose of the Cape Girardeau Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they handle minor crimes, civil disputes, and traffic matters. Courthouses like Cape Girardeau Municipal Court are the first level of court for these types of cases.

In other situations, the purpose of a county court is to deal with a large number of civil disputes within the respective region. Most cases involve family matters, personal injury cases, more serious criminal charges, or contract disputes.

County courthouses have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil actions that won’t exceed the amount of $15,000.00, while the circuits courts handle felony cases and bigger civil cases.

TYPES OF CASES HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Cape Girardeau, Missouri

Municipal courts are the lowest level of courts in the U.S.. They are usually found within the jurisdiction where they are located, but some jurisdictions share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better serve their citizens or to save money on expenditures. The matters that could be heard by a municipal court vary depending on the municipality, but typically include traffic tickets, low level criminal charges and code infractions.

You will not find a standard for what makes a misdemeanor versus a felony case, but generally speaking felonies would require more time in jail than misdemeanors and fines may also be higher for felonies. Traffic violations usually result in points against your driver’s license as well

What’s the process for cases in the municipal court in Cape Girardeau?

Municipal courts are the first tier of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic tickets, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are have often been called city courts or town courts. Matters are managed by a magistrate who is usually an attorney, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council members to assist for a specific duration.

Judges manage hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for an arrest
  • Set bail amounts and conditions of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against defendants by police officers
  • Distribute search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to secure evidence from crime scenes
  • Conduct preliminary examinations to establish if there is enough evidence to charge

The Process of a Municipal Court matter

The common path of a municipal court case can be difficult to navigate. The next portion is an overview of the steps involved in a regular municipal court matter.

Step One: Issuance of Summons

A summons is given when someone has been charged with violating a town rule or state law. The person who has received the summons will need to show up at their assigned time and courthouse, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to answer for the charge(s) against them. If they fail to appear, they may be found guilty anyways and could be fined up to $1000 or sentenced to jail time if it’s a serious enough offense.

Second Step: Appearance before Judge or Magistrate

If someone fails to respond after being summoned by the judge, there may be a warrant issued for the person. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Cape Girardeau, MO

Penalties change often, which is why it’s good to speak with licensed lawyer. The material below represents common penalties, but may not be 100% accurate for the Cape Girardeau Municipal Court. 

A violation is an offense that carries a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor can carry penalties up to $1000 or one year in local jail. A person’s driving privileges may be suspended for six months if they receive three speeding tickets within 12 months.

The penalties for different charges in municipal courts vary depending on the severity of an offenses. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a license for it then you could be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

Cape Girardeau Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal government could be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one area or system. The records that a person might need to depend on the type of charge they have before the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what type of information is needed by law to be available.

Common Questions ABOUT the Cape Girardeau Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Cape Girardeau, Missouri?

In Missouri, the municipal court is a lower level with civil and criminal matters within a city or municipality. Municipal courts have a small location and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty charges and misdemeanor crimes.

What does the municipal court handle in Cape Girardeau, Missouri?

Depending on the area of the municipality, a municipal court can handle a civil division (cases with less than  $15,000 at issue), a traffic/criminal division, or a housing and environmental division. Serious cases/crimes are handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Cape Girardeau Municipal Court have?

The number of judges depends on the municipality’s size.

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Missouri?

A municipal courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set term of years or until they retire. Judges are sometimes chosen by the people with each precinct’s results judged based on the number of people. Municipal magistrates are generally not lawyers but have some legal training and must finish many hours of ongoing education every period to maintain their licenses.