Devils Lake Municipal Court – Devils Lake, ND

Oct 26, 2021

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

Devils Lake Municipal Court INformation

Court: Devils Lake Municipal Court
Address: “423 6th St NE, PO Box 1048, Devils Lake, ND 58301”
Phone: 701-662-0718

City: Devils Lake
County: Ramsey
State: North Dakota

What is the purpose of the Devils Lake Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they deal with minor criminal charges, civil cases, and traffic incidents. Courthouses like Devils Lake 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 matters, accident cases, more serious criminal charges, or breaches of contract.

County courts have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil matters that won’t exceed the amount of $15,000, while the circuits courts handle felony cases and larger civil cases.

TYPES OF affairs adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Devils Lake, North Dakota

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 jurisdictions share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better assist their citizens or to save money on costs. The cases that may be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic violations, criminal misdemeanors and code infractions.

There is no set definition for what establishes a misdemeanor charge versus a felony crime, 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 Devils Lake?

Municipal courts are the first level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic matters, 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 board to assist for a specific time.

Magistrates preside over hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for an arrest
  • Set bail amounts and conditions of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against defendants by police officers
  • Issue search warrants to police officers in order to secure evidence from crime locations
  • start preliminary inquiries to understand if there is enough evidence to issue a charge

The common process of a Municipal Court matter

The process of a municipal court case can be difficult to navigate. The next portion is an overview of the 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 town ordinance or state law. The person who has received the summons from the court will need to show up at their assigned time and location, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to respond for the charge(s) against them. If they fail to appear, they may be found guilty in absentia and could be fined up to $1k or sentenced to jail time if it’s a serious enough offense.

Step Two: 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 individual. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Devils Lake, ND

Penalties change often, which is why it’s best to speak with licensed attorney. The information below represents common penalties, but may not be accurate for the Devils Lake 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 offenses. 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.

Devils Lake Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal court may be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one place or system. The records that a person might need to depend on the type of matter they have before the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what type of information is required by law to be present.

Common Questions ABOUT the Devils Lake Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Devils Lake, North Dakota?

In North Dakota, 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 crimes and misdemeanor charges.

What does the municipal court handle in Devils Lake, North Dakota?

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 Devils Lake Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in North Dakota?

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 according to the number of people. Municipal magistrates are often not attorneys but have some legal training and must complete multiple hours of continuing education every year to maintain their credentials.