Chapmanville Municipal Court – Chapmanville, WV

by | Oct 28, 2021

A municipal court is a court with restrictive jurisdiction over criminal offenses and civil disputes within its geographic area. These courts can be located at the county or city tier.

Chapmanville Municipal Court INformation

Court: Chapmanville Municipal Court
Address: “PO Box 426, Chapmanville, WV 25508”
Phone: 304-855-4582

City: Chapmanville
County: Logan
State: West Virginia

What is the role of the Chapmanville Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they work with minor crimes, civil matters, and traffic matters. Courthouses like Chapmanville Municipal Court are the first level of court for these types of cases.

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

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

TYPES OF Legal Matters HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Chapmanville, West Virginia

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 serve their population or to save money on expenditures. The cases that will be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic crimes, small criminal charges and code violations.

There is no set definition for what makes a misdemeanor crime versus a felony case, but generally speaking felonies would require more time in jail than misdemeanor crimes 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 Chapmanville?

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

Magistrates preside over hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for arrest
  • Set bail amounts and the conditions of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against individuals by police officers
  • Issue search warrants to police officers in order to seize evidence from crime locations
  • Conduct preliminary inquiries to understand if there is enough evidence to charge

The common process of a Municipal Court Case

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

First Step: Issuance of Summons

A summons is issued when an individual has been charged with violating a town rule or state law. The citizen who has received the court summons will need to show up at their assigned time and place, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to respond 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.

Step Two: Appearance before Judge or Magistrate

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

Municipal Court Penalties in Chapmanville, WV

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

A violation is an offense that has a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor can carry penalties up to $1000 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 offenses in municipal courthouses vary depending on the severity of an crimes. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a prescription for it then you could be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.

Chapmanville 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 an individual might need to depend on the type of case they have in front of the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what kind of of information is required by law to be present.

FAQs ABOUT the Chapmanville Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Chapmanville, West Virginia?

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

What does the municipal court handle in Chapmanville, West Virginia?

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. More serious cases/crimes are deal with by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Chapmanville Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in West Virginia?

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 elected by precincts with each precinct’s results evaluated according to the number of people. Municipal judges are often not attorneys but have some legal education and must finish several hours of ongoing education every year to maintain their credentials.