A municipal court is a court with restrictive jurisdiction over criminal offenses and civil disputes inside its geographic area. These courts can be found at the city or county tier.
Columbia Municipal Court INformation
Court: Columbia Municipal Court
Address: “205 2nd St, Columbia, MS 39429”
What is the role of the Columbia Municipal Court?
Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they handle minor crimes, civil cases, and traffic tickets. Courthouses like Columbia 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, more serious criminal charges, or contract disputes.
County courts have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil actions that won’t exceed the amount of $15k, while the circuits courts handle felony cases and more expansive civil matters.
TYPES OF Legal Matters HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Columbia, Mississippi
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 administrative costs. The matters that could be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic violations, low level criminal charges and code violations.
You will not see a set definition for what makes a misdemeanor charge 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 Columbia?
Magistrates manage hearings to determine:
- Probable cause for an arrest
- Set bail amounts and terms of release
- Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against defendants by police officers
- Distribute search warrants to police officers in order to secure evidence from crime scenes
- Conduct preliminary examinations to learn if there is enough evidence to mount a charge
The typical process of a Municipal Court matter
First Step: Issuance of Summons
Step Two: Show Up before Judge or Magistrate
Municipal Court Penalties in Columbia, MS
Penalties change often, which is why it’s good to speak with licensed attorney near you. The material below represents common penalties, but may not be 100% accurate for the Columbia Municipal Court.
A violation is an offense that carries a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor crime can carry 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 crimes in municipal courthouses vary depending on the severity of an crimes. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a license for it then you could be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.
Columbia Municipal Court Records
Municipal Court records from a municipal court could 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 in front of the court, where it’s at in the process, and what type of information is required by law to be present.
Common Questions ABOUT the Columbia Municipal Court
What is municipal court in Columbia, Mississippi?
In Mississippi, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal matters within a town 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 Columbia, Mississippi?
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. Serious cases/crimes are deal with by higher authorities.
How many judges does the Columbia Municipal Court have?
The count of judges depends on the municipality’s size.
How are cases heard in municipal courts in Mississippi?
A municipal courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until they retire. Judges are sometimes elected by precincts with each precinct’s results weighted based on the number of people. Municipal magistrates are generally not attorneys but have some legal training and must finish multiple hours of continuing education every period to maintain their licenses.