A municipal court is a court with restrictive area of authority over criminal offenses and civil disputes within its geographic area. These courts can be found at the county or city level.
Columbus Municipal Court INformation
Court: Columbus Municipal Court
Address: “1501 Main St, Columbus, MS 39701”
Phone: 662-244-3500 ext. 3
What is the purpose of the Columbus Municipal Court?
Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they deal with minor criminal charges, civil disputes, and traffic tickets. Courthouses like Columbus 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, more serious criminal infractions, or contract disputes.
County courthouses have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil actions that can not exceed the amount of $15k, while the circuits courts handle felonies and larger civil matters.
TYPES OF Matters HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Columbus, Mississippi
Municipal courts are the lowest level of courts in the U.S.. They are usually found within the jurisdiction where they are located, but some places share municipal courts with other municipalities.
This can be done to better help their people or to save money on overhead costs. The cases that may be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic crimes, small criminal charges and code infractions.
You will not see a set definition for what makes a misdemeanor charge versus a felony case, 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’s the process for cases in the municipal court in Columbus?
Magistrates preside over hearings to determine:
- Probable cause for an arrest
- Set bail amounts and terms of release
- Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against individuals by police officers
- Distribute search warrants to police officers in order to protect 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
Step One: An Issuance of Summons
Second Step: Show Up before Judge or Magistrate
Municipal Court Penalties in Columbus, MS
Penalties change often, which is why it’s best to speak with licensed attorney near you. The information below represents common penalties, but may not be 100% accurate for the Columbus Municipal Court.
A violation is a crime that carries a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor crime 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 offenses 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 will be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.
Columbus Municipal Court Records
Municipal Court records from a municipal government may 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 needed by law to be present.
FAQs ABOUT the Columbus Municipal Court
What is municipal court in Columbus, Mississippi?
In Mississippi, the municipal court is a lower level with civil and criminal jurisdiction within a city or municipality. Municipal courts have a small area of influence and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty charges and misdemeanor charges.
What does the municipal court handle in Columbus, Mississippi?
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. Serious cases/crimes are deal with by higher authorities.
How many judges does the Columbus Municipal Court have?
The number of judges depends on the municipality’s population.
How are cases heard in municipal courts in Mississippi?
A municipal court judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until they retire. Judges are commonly elected by the people with each precinct’s results evaluated based on the number of people. Municipal judges are generally not attorneys but have some legal education and must finish several hours of ongoing education every period to maintain their credentials.