Clark County Municipal Court – Springfield, OH

Oct 26, 2021

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

Clark County Municipal Court INformation

Court: Clark County Municipal Court
Address: “50 E Columbia St, Springfield, OH 45502”
Phone: 937-328-3715

City: Springfield
County: Clark
State: Ohio

What is the purpose of the Clark County Municipal Court?

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

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, personal injury, more serious criminal charges, or contract disputes.

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

TYPES OF Legal Matters HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Springfield, Ohio

Municipal courts are the bottom rung of courthouses 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 assist their people or to save money on costs. The matters that could be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic matters, criminal misdemeanors and code infractions.

You will not find a standard for what makes a misdemeanor versus a felony, 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 Springfield?

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

Judges manage hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for an arrest
  • Set bail amounts and conditions of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against defendants by police officers
  • Distribute search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to seize evidence from crime locations
  • start preliminary examinations to learn if there is enough evidence to charge

The Process of a Municipal Court Case

The common path of a municipal courthouse case can be difficult to navigate. The next portion is an overview of the most common steps involved in a typical municipal court matter.

First Step: Issuance of Summons

A summons from the court is given when an individual has been charged with violating a city ordinance or state law. The citizen who has received the court summons will need to show up at their assigned time and location, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to answer for the charge(s) against them. If they never appear, they may be found guilty anyways and could be fined up to $1000 or given a jail term if it’s a serious enough offense.

Step Two: 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 Springfield, OH

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 Clark County Municipal Court. 

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

Clark County Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal court could 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 needed by law to be available.

Common Questions ABOUT the Clark County Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Springfield, Ohio?

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

What does the municipal court handle in Springfield, Ohio?

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

How many judges does the Clark County Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Ohio?

A municipal courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until retirement. Judges are commonly chosen by the people with each precinct’s results weighted based on the number of people. Municipal judges are generally not attorneys but have some legal education and must finish many hours of ongoing material every period to maintain their licenses.