City of Lake Mills Municipal Court – Lake Mills, WI

by | Oct 28, 2021

A municipal court is a court with small area of authority over criminal charges and civil matters within its area. These courts can be found at the county or city level.

City of Lake Mills Municipal Court INformation

Court: City of Lake Mills Municipal Court
Address: “200 D Water Street, Lake Mills, WI 53551”
Phone: 920-350-7063

City: Lake Mills
County: Jefferson
State: Wisconsin

What is the role of the City of Lake Mills Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they handle minor crimes, civil matters, and traffic violations. Courts like City of Lake Mills 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 family matters, personal injury cases, more serious criminal infractions, or breaches of contract.

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

TYPES OF CASES HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Lake Mills, Wisconsin

Municipal courts are the lowest level of courthouses 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 administrative costs. The matters that could be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic crimes, small criminal charges and code infractions.

You will not find a standard for what establishes a misdemeanor crime versus a felony crime, 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

How are cases handled in the municipal court in Lake Mills?

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 popularly known 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 board to assist for a specific time period.

Magistrates preside over hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for arrest
  • Set bail amounts and terms of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against suspects by police officers
  • Issue search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to protect evidence from crime locations
  • start preliminary examinations to determine if there is enough evidence to mount a charge

The common process of a Municipal Court matter

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 typical municipal court case.

First Step: An Issuance of Summons

A summons is issued when a person has been charged with violating a city rule or state law. The citizen who has received the summons from the court will need to be present at their assigned time and place, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to answer for the charge(s) against them. If they never appear, they may be found guilty in absentia 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 show up after being summoned by the judge, there may be a warrant issued for the individual. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Lake Mills, WI

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

A violation is an offense that carries a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor crime can have penalties up to $1k 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 license for it then you could be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

City of Lake Mills 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 an individual might need to depend on the type of charge they have in front of the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what type of information is needed by law to be available.

FAQs ABOUT the City of Lake Mills Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Lake Mills, Wisconsin?

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

What does the municipal court handle in Lake Mills, Wisconsin?

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 City of Lake Mills Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Wisconsin?

A municipal courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set term of years or until retirement. Judges are commonly chosen by precincts with each precinct’s results weighted based on population. Municipal magistrates are generally not lawyers but have some legal training and must complete multiple hours of ongoing material every year to maintain their licenses.