Chapman Municipal Court – Chapman, KS

by | Oct 26, 2021

A municipal court is a court with limited jurisdiction over criminal charges and civil matters inside its geographic area. These courts can be found at the city or county tier.

Chapman Municipal Court INformation

Court: Chapman Municipal Court
Address: “402 North Marshall, PO Box 321, Chapman, KS 67431”
Phone: 785-922-6582

City: Chapman
County: Dickinson
State: Kansas

What is the purpose of the Chapman Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they deal with minor criminal charges, civil disputes, and traffic incidents. Courts like Chapman Municipal Court are the first level of court for this group of matters.

On the other hand, the role of a county court is to deal with a large number of civil disputes within the respective region. Most cases involve family matters, accident cases, more serious criminal infractions, or lawsuits.

County courts have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil actions that won’t exceed the amount of $15,000, while the circuits courts handle felony cases and bigger civil matters.

TYPES OF CASES seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Chapman, Kansas

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 locales share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better help their population or to save money on costs. The cases that could be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic crimes, low level criminal charges and code infractions.

You will not see a set definition for what makes a misdemeanor versus a felony, 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

How are cases handled in the municipal court in Chapman?

Municipal courts are the first level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic crimes, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are often known as city courts or town courts. Matters are handled by a magistrate who is usually a lawyer, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council members to assist for a specific time.

Magistrates preside over hearings to determine:

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

The usual process of a Municipal Court Case

The process of a municipal court case can be difficult to navigate. The following material is an overview of the steps involved in a regular municipal court matter.

First Step: Issuance of Summons

A summons from the court is issued when an individual has been charged with violating a city rule or state law. The individual who has received the summons from the court will need to be present at their assigned time and courthouse, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to respond for the charge(s) against them. If they never appear, they may be found guilty in absentia and could be fined up to $1k or sentenced to jail time if it’s a serious enough offense.

Step Two: Appearance before Judge or Magistrate

If someone fails to show up after being summoned by the judge, there may be a warrant issued for the individual. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Chapman, KS

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

A violation is an offense that carries a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor crime can have penalties up to $1,000.00 or one year in 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 crimes. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a prescription for it then you will be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

Chapman Municipal Court Records

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

Common Questions ABOUT the Chapman Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Chapman, Kansas?

In Kansas, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal matters within a town or municipality. Municipal courts thus have a small area of influence and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty crimes and misdemeanors.

What does the municipal court handle in Chapman, Kansas?

Depending on the scope 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 Chapman Municipal Court have?

The count of judges depends on the municipality’s population.

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Kansas?

A municipal courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set term of years or until retirement. Judges are sometimes elected by precincts with each precinct’s results weighted based on the number of people. Municipal judges are generally not lawyers but have some legal training and must finish several hours of continuing education every period to maintain their credentials.