Doniphan Municipal Division – Doniphan, MO

by | Oct 26, 2021

A municipal court is a court with restrictive jurisdiction over criminal charges and civil disputes inside its geographic area. These courts can be located at the county or city level.

Doniphan Municipal Division INformation

Court: Doniphan Municipal Division
Address: “Ripley County Courthouse 100 Courthouse Square, Suite 3, Doniphan, MO 63935”
Phone: 573-996-2818

City: Doniphan
County: Ripley
State: Missouri

What is the role of the Doniphan Municipal Division?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they deal with minor crimes, civil matters, and traffic violations. Courts like Doniphan Municipal Division are the first level of court for this group of matters.

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 divorce or other family matters, personal injury, more serious criminal charges, or lawsuits.

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

TYPES OF Matters HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Doniphan, Missouri

Municipal courts are the bottom rung of courts in the U.S.. 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 serve their citizens or to save money on overhead costs. The matters that could be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic crimes, low level crimes and code infractions.

You will not find a standard for what constitutes a misdemeanor charge versus a felony crime, 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

How are cases handled in the municipal court in Doniphan?

Municipal courts are the first tier 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 an attorney, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council board to help for a specific time.

Magistrates manage hearings to determine:

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

The Process of a Municipal Court Case

The common path of a municipal court case can be complicated. The next portion is an overview of the most common steps involved in a typical municipal court matter.

Step One: An Issuance of Summons

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

Step Two: Appearance 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 Doniphan, MO

Penalties change often, which is why it’s good to speak with licensed lawyer. The information below represents common penalties, but may not be 100% accurate for the Doniphan Municipal Division. 

A violation is an offense that has a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor crime can have penalties up to $1000 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 charges in municipal courts 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.

Doniphan Municipal Division 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 an individual might need to depend on the type of case they have before the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what type of information is needed by law to be available.

Questions ABOUT the Doniphan Municipal Division

What is municipal court in Doniphan, Missouri?

In Missouri, the municipal court is a lower level with civil and criminal jurisdiction within a city or municipality. Municipal courts will have a small jurisdiction and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty crimes and misdemeanors.

What does the municipal court handle in Doniphan, Missouri?

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. More serious cases/crimes are deal with by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Doniphan Municipal Division have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Missouri?

A municipal court judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set term of years or until they retire. Judges are sometimes elected by the people with each precinct’s results weighted according to the number of people. Municipal judges are often not attorneys but have some legal training and must complete multiple hours of ongoing material every period to maintain their credentials.