Clearwater Municipal Court – Clearwater, KS

by | Oct 26, 2021

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

Clearwater Municipal Court INformation

Court: Clearwater Municipal Court
Address: “129 East Ross Avenue, Clearwater, KS 67026”
Phone: 620-584-2317

City: Clearwater
County: Sedgwick
State: Kansas

What is the role of the Clearwater Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they deal with minor criminal charges, civil matters, and traffic matters. Courts like Clearwater Municipal Court are the first level of court for these types of cases.

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 $15,000.00, while the circuits courts handle felony matters and more expansive civil matters.

TYPES OF CASES HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Clearwater, Kansas

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 locales share municipal courts with other municipalities.

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

You will not find a standard for what establishes 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

What’s the process for cases in the municipal court in Clearwater?

Municipal courts are the entry level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic crimes, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are often known as city courts or town courts. Matters 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 help for a specific time.

Judges manage hearings to determine:

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

The typical process of a Municipal Court matter

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

First Step: An Issuance of Summons

A court summons is sent when a person has been charged with violating a town ordinance or state law. The citizen who has received the summons from the court 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 $1000 or sentenced to jail time if it’s a serious enough offense.

Second Step: 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 person. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Clearwater, KS

Penalties change often, which is why it’s best to speak with licensed lawyer. The material below represents common penalties, but may not be 100% accurate for the Clearwater Municipal Court. 

A violation is an offense that carries a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor crime can have penalties up to $1000 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 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 could be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

Clearwater Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal government 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 matter they have before the court, where it’s at in the process, and what kind of of information is needed by law to be present.

FAQs ABOUT the Clearwater Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Clearwater, Kansas?

In Kansas, the municipal court is a lower level with civil and criminal jurisdiction within a city or municipality. Municipal courts thus 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 Clearwater, Kansas?

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 deal with by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Clearwater Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Kansas?

A municipal courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until retirement. Judges are sometimes elected by precincts with each precinct’s results weighted according to the number of people. Municipal magistrates are generally not attorneys but have some legal education and must finish multiple hours of ongoing education every year to maintain their credentials.