Doolittle Municipal Division – Rolla, MO

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 located at the county or city tier.

Doolittle Municipal Division INformation

Court: Doolittle Municipal Division
Address: “Phelps County Courthouse 200 North Main Street, Rolla, MO 65401”
Phone: 573-458-6210

City: Rolla
County: Phelps
State: Missouri

What is the role of the Doolittle Municipal Division?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they deal with minor criminal charges, civil matters, and traffic incidents. Courts like Doolittle Municipal Division 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, personal injury cases, more serious criminal charges, or contract disputes.

County courthouses have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil actions that won’t exceed the amount of $15,000, while the circuits courts handle felonies and more expansive civil cases.

TYPES OF Legal Matters adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Rolla, Missouri

Municipal courts are the entry level of courts 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 assist their citizens or to save money on overhead costs. The cases that could be heard by a municipal court vary depending on the municipality, but typically include traffic tickets, criminal misdemeanors and code violations.

You will not see a set definition for what establishes a misdemeanor 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’s the process for cases in the municipal court in Rolla?

Municipal courts are the entry level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic violations, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are have often been called city courts or town courts. Cases 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 serve for a specific time period.

Magistrates preside over hearings to determine:

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

The usual process of a Municipal Court matter

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

First Step: An Issuance of Summons

A summons is issued when someone has been charged with violating a local rule or state law. The individual who has received the court summons will need to be present 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 given a jail term 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 person. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Rolla, MO

Penalties change often, which is why it’s good to speak with licensed lawyer near you. The material below represents common penalties, but may not be accurate for the Doolittle Municipal Division. 

A violation is an offense that has a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor 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 crimes in municipal courts vary depending on the severity of an charges. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a license for it then you will be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

Doolittle Municipal Division 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 matter they have in front of the court, where it’s at in the process, and what kind of of information is needed by law to be available.

FAQs ABOUT the Doolittle Municipal Division

What is municipal court in Rolla, Missouri?

In Missouri, the municipal court is a lower court 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 Rolla, Missouri?

Depending on the area 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 Doolittle Municipal Division have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Missouri?

A municipal court judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until retirement. Judges are commonly chosen by precincts with each precinct’s results judged according to the number of people. Municipal magistrates are generally not lawyers but have some legal training and must finish many hours of continuing courses every period to maintain their credentials.