Cranbury Township Municipal Court – Plainsboro, NJ

by | Oct 26, 2021

A municipal court is a court with limited jurisdiction over criminal offenses and civil matters within its location. These courts can be found at the county or city level.

Cranbury Township Municipal Court INformation

Court: Cranbury Township Municipal Court
Address: “641 Plainsboro Road, Plainsboro, NJ 08536”
Phone: 609-799-0863

City: Plainsboro
County: Middlesex
State: New Jersey

What is the role of the Cranbury Township Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they work with minor crimes, civil disputes, and traffic matters. Courthouses like Cranbury Township 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 law matters, personal injury cases, more serious criminal charges, or lawsuits.

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 cases.

TYPES OF Legal Matters seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Plainsboro, New Jersey

Municipal courts are the lowest level of courthouses in the United States. 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 service their citizens or to save money on administrative costs. The cases that could be heard by a municipal court vary depending on the municipality, but typically include traffic tickets, low level criminal charges and code violations.

There is no set definition for what makes a misdemeanor crime 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’s the process for cases in the municipal court in Plainsboro?

Municipal courts are the first level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic tickets, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are have often been called city courts or town courts. Matters are managed by a magistrate who is usually a lawyer, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council members to assist for a specific time period.

Judges preside over hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for arrest
  • Set bail amounts and conditions of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against suspects by police officers
  • Issue search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to seize evidence from crime scenes
  • start preliminary inquiries to understand if there is enough evidence to charge

The usual process of a Municipal Court Case

The common process of a municipal court case can be complicated. The following material is an overview of the steps involved in a regular municipal court case.

First Step: An Issuance of Summons

A summons from the court is sent when a person has been charged with violating a local rule or state law. The person who has received the court summons will need to show up at their assigned time and courthouse, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to answer for the charge(s) against them. If they don’t show up, they may be found guilty in absentia and could be fined up to $1,000.00 or sentenced to jail time if it’s a serious enough offense.

Second Step: Show Up 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 Plainsboro, NJ

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 Cranbury Township Municipal Court. 

A violation is a crime that has a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor crime can have penalties up to $1,000.00 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 prescription for it then you will be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

Cranbury Township 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 type of charge they have before the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what type of information is required by law to be available.

Common Questions ABOUT the Cranbury Township Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Plainsboro, New Jersey?

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

What does the municipal court handle in Plainsboro, New Jersey?

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 handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Cranbury Township Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in New Jersey?

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 judged based on population. Municipal judges are generally not attorneys but have some legal training and must complete several hours of ongoing education every year to maintain their credentials.