Clarkton Municipal Court – Clarkton, MO

by | Oct 26, 2021

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

Clarkton Municipal Court INformation

Court: Clarkton Municipal Court
Address: “107 South Main Street, PO Box 98, Clarkton, MO 63837”
Phone: 573-448-3728

City: Clarkton
County: Dunklin
State: Missouri

What is the purpose of the Clarkton Municipal Court?

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

In other situations, 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 actions that can’t exceed the amount of $15,000.00, while the circuits courts handle felonies and larger civil cases.

TYPES OF CASES HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Clarkton, Missouri

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 assist their population 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 crimes, criminal misdemeanors and code infractions.

You will not see a set definition for what makes a misdemeanor 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

what is the procedure for cases in the municipal court in Clarkton?

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 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 help for a specific duration.

Magistrates administer hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for an arrest
  • Set bail amounts and conditions of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against suspects by police officers
  • Distribute search warrants to police officers in order to protect evidence from crime scenes
  • start preliminary examinations to understand if there is enough evidence to issue a charge

The common process of a Municipal Court matter

The process of a municipal courthouse case can be tricky. The following material is an overview of the steps involved in a regular municipal court case.

Step One: An Issuance of Summons

A summons from the court is sent when a person has been charged with violating a town ordinance or state law. The individual who has received the court summons 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 don’t come, they may be found guilty in absentia and could be fined up to $1000 or given a jail sentence 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 person. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Clarkton, MO

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

A violation is an offense that carries a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor can carry 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 medical prescription for it then you will be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

Clarkton Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal court may be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one location or system. The records that a person might need to depend on the type of matter 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.

Common Questions ABOUT the Clarkton Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Clarkton, Missouri?

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

What does the municipal court handle in Clarkton, Missouri?

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 deal with by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Clarkton Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Missouri?

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 population. Municipal magistrates are often not attorneys but have some legal education and must complete several hours of ongoing material every year to maintain their credentials.