Clovis Municipal Court – Clovis, NM

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 found at the city or county level.

Clovis Municipal Court INformation

Court: Clovis Municipal Court
Address: “217 West 4th Street, PO Box 876, Clovis, NM 88102”
Phone: 575-769-7860

City: Clovis
County: Curry
State: New Mexico

What is the role of the Clovis Municipal Court?

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

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 law matters, injury cases, more serious criminal charges, or contract disputes.

County courts have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil matters that won’t exceed the amount of $15,000.00, while the circuits courts handle felony cases and larger civil cases.

TYPES OF Matters HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Clovis, New Mexico

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 locales share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better serve their people or to save money on costs. The matters that will be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic crimes, small criminal charges and code infractions.

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

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

Municipal courts are the first tier of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic violations, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are popularly known 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 members to serve for a specific time.

Magistrates administer hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for arrest
  • Set bail amounts and terms 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
  • Conduct preliminary inquiries to learn if there is enough evidence to charge

The typical process of a Municipal Court matter

The process of a municipal courthouse case can be difficult to navigate. The following material is an overview of the most common steps involved in a regular municipal court matter.

Step One: Issuance of Summons

A summons is given when a person has been charged with violating a town rule or state law. The individual who has received the summons from the court will need to be present at their assigned time and courthouse, 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 $1k or given a jail sentence if it’s a serious enough offense.

Second Step: 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 Clovis, NM

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

A violation is an offense that carries a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor crime can possess penalties up to $1k 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 courthouses vary depending on the severity of an charges. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a license for it then you could be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

Clovis Municipal Court Records

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

FAQs ABOUT the Clovis Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Clovis, New Mexico?

In New Mexico, the municipal court is a lower level with civil and criminal jurisdiction 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 crimes.

What does the municipal court handle in Clovis, New Mexico?

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 handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Clovis Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in New Mexico?

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