Cliffside Park Municipal Court – Cliffside Park, NJ

by | Oct 26, 2021

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

Cliffside Park Municipal Court INformation

Court: Cliffside Park Municipal Court
Address: “525 Palisade Avenue, Room 321, Cliffside Park, NJ 07010”
Phone: 201-313-2018

City: Cliffside Park
County: Bergen
State: New Jersey

What is the role of the Cliffside Park Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they work with minor crimes, civil matters, and traffic tickets. Courts like Cliffside Park 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 family matters, accident cases, more serious criminal charges, or contract disputes.

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

TYPES OF affairs adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Cliffside Park, New Jersey

Municipal courts are the entry 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 assist their citizens or to save money on overhead costs. The cases that will be heard by a municipal court vary depending on the municipality, but typically include traffic matters, small criminal charges and code violations.

You will not find a standard for what makes a misdemeanor charge versus a felony charge, but generally speaking felonies would require more time in jail than misdemeanors 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 Cliffside Park?

Municipal courts are the lowest 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 a lawyer, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council board to serve for a specific time.

Magistrates preside over hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for 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 police officers in order to secure evidence from crime scenes
  • start preliminary examinations to determine if there is enough evidence to 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 most common steps involved in a regular municipal court case.

First Step: Issuance of Summons

A court summons is sent when an individual has been charged with violating a local rule or state law. The person who has received the summons will need to appear at their assigned time and location, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to respond for the charge(s) against them. If they fail to appear, 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.

Second Step: Appearance 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 Cliffside Park, NJ

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

A violation is a crime that carries a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor crime 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 crimes 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 could be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

Cliffside Park Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal government 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 matter they have in front of the court, where it’s at in the process, and what type of information is required by law to be available.

Questions ABOUT the Cliffside Park Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Cliffside Park, New Jersey?

In New Jersey, the municipal court is a lower level with civil and criminal jurisdiction within a city or municipality. Municipal courts have a small jurisdiction and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty offenses and misdemeanor crimes.

What does the municipal court handle in Cliffside Park, New Jersey?

Depending on the scope 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 Cliffside Park Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in New Jersey?

A municipal court judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set term of years or until retirement. Judges are commonly elected by precincts with each precinct’s results judged based on population. Municipal magistrates are generally not lawyers but have some legal training and must finish many hours of continuing courses every period to maintain their credentials.