City of Rice Lake Municipal Court – Rice Lake, WI

by | Oct 28, 2021

A municipal court is a court with restrictive area of authority over criminal charges and civil disputes inside its geographic area. These courts can be located at the city or county level.

City of Rice Lake Municipal Court INformation

Court: City of Rice Lake Municipal Court
Address: “30 East Eau Claire Street, Rice Lake, WI 54868”
Phone: 715-234-1989

City: Rice Lake
County: Barron
State: Wisconsin

What is the purpose of the City of Rice Lake Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they work with minor crimes, civil cases, and traffic matters. Courts like City of Rice Lake 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 divorce or other family matters, accident cases, more serious criminal charges, or contract disputes.

County courts have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil matters that won’t exceed the amount of $15,000.00, while the circuits courts handle felonies and larger civil cases.

TYPES OF Matters adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Rice Lake, Wisconsin

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 places share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better serve their population or to save money on expenditures. The matters 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 violations.

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

what is the procedure for cases in the municipal court in Rice Lake?

Municipal courts are the entry level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic tickets, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are popularly known city courts or town courts. Cases 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 duration.

Magistrates manage hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for an 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 secure evidence from crime scenes
  • start preliminary inquiries to learn if there is enough evidence to issue a charge

The usual process of a Municipal Court matter

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

Step One: Issuance of Summons

A summons is given when a person has been charged with violating a town ordinance or state law. The citizen 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 don’t come, 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: Show Up 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 Rice Lake, WI

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

A violation is an offense that has a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor charge can possess 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 crimes in municipal courts vary depending on the severity of an charges. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a license for it then you will be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

City of Rice Lake Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal court may 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 case 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 City of Rice Lake Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Rice Lake, 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 jurisdiction and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty crimes and misdemeanor charges.

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

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. More serious cases/crimes are handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the City of Rice Lake Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Wisconsin?

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