Cranford Municipal Court – Cranford, NJ

Oct 26, 2021

A municipal court is a court with limited area of authority over criminal offenses and civil disputes within its area. These courts can be found at the city or county level.

Cranford Municipal Court INformation

Court: Cranford Municipal Court
Address: “Cranford Municipal Building 8 Springfield Avenue, Cranford, NJ 07016”
Phone: 908-709-7242

City: Cranford
County: Union
State: New Jersey

What is the purpose of the Cranford Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they handle minor criminal charges, civil cases, and traffic matters. Courts like Cranford Municipal Court are the first level of court for these types of cases.

In other situations, 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 infractions, or lawsuits.

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

TYPES OF Legal Matters HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Cranford, New Jersey

Municipal courts are the entry level of courthouses in the United States. 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 service their citizens or to save money on expenditures. The matters that could be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic violations, low level crimes and code infractions.

There is no set definition for what constitutes a misdemeanor crime versus a felony, but generally speaking felonies would require more time in jail than misdemeanor crimes 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 Cranford?

Municipal courts are the lowest level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic crimes, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are popularly known 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 serve for a specific period of time.

Magistrates manage hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for an 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 law enforcement officers in order to protect evidence from crime locations
  • start preliminary inquiries to understand if there is enough evidence to charge

The common process of a Municipal Court matter

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

Step One: An Issuance of Summons

A court summons is issued when an individual has been charged with violating a local rule or state law. The person who has received the court summons will need to appear at their assigned time and courthouse, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to respond for the charge(s) against them. If they don’t show up, they may be found guilty anyways and could be fined up to $1k or given a jail term 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 individual. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Cranford, NJ

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

A violation is a crime that carries a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor charge can possess 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 courts 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.

Cranford Municipal Court Records

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

FAQs ABOUT the Cranford Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Cranford, New Jersey?

In New Jersey, the municipal court is a lower level 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 misdemeanor crimes.

What does the municipal court handle in Cranford, 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. Serious cases/crimes are handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Cranford 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 duration or until retirement. Judges are sometimes elected by precincts with each precinct’s results judged based on the number of people. Municipal judges are often not attorneys but have some legal education and must complete multiple hours of ongoing education every period to maintain their licenses.