Cheney Municipal Court – Cheney, WA

by | Oct 28, 2021

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

Cheney Municipal Court INformation

Court: Cheney Municipal Court
Address: “611 2nd Street, Cheney, WA 99004”
Phone: 509-498-9231

City: Cheney
County: Spokane
State: Washington

What is the purpose of the Cheney Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they deal with minor crimes, civil matters, and traffic violations. Courts like Cheney 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 law matters, personal injury cases, more serious criminal infractions, or contract disputes.

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

TYPES OF Legal Matters HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Cheney, Washington

Municipal courts are the lowest level of courts in the United States. 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 costs. 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.

There is no set definition for what constitutes a misdemeanor versus a felony case, but generally speaking felonies would require more time in jail than misdemeanor charges 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 Cheney?

Municipal courts are the first level 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. Cases 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 help for a specific time period.

Judges administer hearings to determine:

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

The Process of a Municipal Court Case

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

First Step: Issuance of Summons

A summons is sent when a person has been charged with violating a city ordinance or state law. The citizen who has received the summons from the court will need to appear at their assigned time and location, 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 given a jail sentence if it’s a serious enough offense.

Second Step: Show Up before Judge or Magistrate

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

Municipal Court Penalties in Cheney, WA

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

A violation is a crime that carries a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor crime can possess penalties up to $1,000.00 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 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.

Cheney Municipal Court Records

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

Questions ABOUT the Cheney Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Cheney, Washington?

In Washington, the municipal court is a lower level with civil and criminal matters within a town or municipality. Municipal courts have a small jurisdiction and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty offenses and misdemeanors.

What does the municipal court handle in Cheney, Washington?

Depending on the size 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 deal with by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Cheney Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Washington?

A municipal court judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until retirement. Judges are sometimes elected by the people with each precinct’s results weighted based on the number of people. Municipal judges are often not attorneys but have some legal training and must finish several hours of continuing courses every year to maintain their licenses.