Clatskanie Municipal Court – Clatskanie, OR

Oct 26, 2021

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

Clatskanie Municipal Court INformation

Court: Clatskanie Municipal Court
Address: “95 South Nehalem Street, PO Box 9, Clatskanie, OR 97016”
Phone: 503-728-3011

City: Clatskanie
County: Columbia
State: Oregon

What is the role of the Clatskanie Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they handle minor crimes, civil cases, and traffic incidents. Courts like Clatskanie 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 lawsuits.

County courts have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil matters that can not exceed the amount of $15,000, while the circuits courts handle felony matters and more expansive civil cases.

TYPES OF affairs seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Clatskanie, Oregon

Municipal courts are the lowest level of courthouses in the U.S.. They are usually found within the jurisdiction where they are located, but some jurisdictions share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better help their population or to save money on administrative costs. The matters that will be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic matters, low level crimes and code violations.

You will not see a set definition for what establishes a misdemeanor crime 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 Clatskanie?

Municipal courts are the first tier 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 handled 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 period of time.

Judges preside over hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for arrest
  • Set bail amounts and 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 seize evidence from crime scenes
  • start preliminary examinations to learn if there is enough evidence to mount a charge

The usual process of a Municipal Court matter

The common path of a municipal court case can be complicated. The following material is an overview of the steps involved in a typical municipal court matter.

Step One: Issuance of Summons

A summons from the court is sent when someone has been charged with violating a town rule or state law. The individual who has received the summons will need to appear at their assigned time and place, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to answer for the charge(s) against them. If they don’t appear, they may be found guilty in absentia and could be fined up to $1,000.00 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 Clatskanie, OR

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

A violation is an offense that carries a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor can have 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 crimes in municipal courts vary depending on the severity of an offenses. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a license for it then you will be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.

Clatskanie 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 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 kind of of information is needed by law to be available.

Questions ABOUT the Clatskanie Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Clatskanie, Oregon?

In Oregon, the municipal court is a lower court 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 crimes and misdemeanors.

What does the municipal court handle in Clatskanie, Oregon?

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 Clatskanie Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Oregon?

A municipal court judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set term of years or until they retire. Judges are commonly chosen by precincts with each precinct’s results weighted according to the number of people. Municipal judges are generally not attorneys but have some legal education and must complete several hours of continuing education every year to maintain their licenses.