Dover Municipal Court – Dover, TN

by | Oct 27, 2021

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

Dover Municipal Court INformation

Court: Dover Municipal Court
Address: “625 Donelson Parkway, PO Box 447, Dover, TN 37058”
Phone: 931-232-5907

City: Dover
County: Stewart
State: Tennessee

What is the purpose of the Dover Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they deal with minor crimes, civil matters, and traffic matters. Courthouses like Dover Municipal Court are the first level of court for these types of cases.

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, accident cases, more serious criminal infractions, or breaches of contract.

County courthouses 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 matters and more expansive civil cases.

TYPES OF affairs seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Dover, Tennessee

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 assist their population or to save money on administrative costs. The cases that could be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic tickets, criminal misdemeanors and code infractions.

You will not find a standard for what makes a misdemeanor charge versus a felony case, 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

How are cases handled in the municipal court in Dover?

Municipal courts are the entry level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic tickets, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are popularly known city courts or town courts. Cases are handled 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.

Magistrates 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 police officers in order to protect evidence from crime locations
  • start preliminary examinations to determine if there is enough evidence to mount a charge

The usual process of a Municipal Court matter

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

First Step: An Issuance of Summons

A summons is sent when an individual has been charged with violating a local rule or state law. The citizen who has received the court summons will need to appear at their assigned time and location, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to answer for the charge(s) against them. If they don’t come, they may be found guilty in absentia and could be fined up to $1000 or given a jail term 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 person. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Dover, TN

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 Dover Municipal Court. 

A violation is a crime that carries a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor charge can carry 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 license for it then you will be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.

Dover 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 matter they have before the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what kind of of information is required by law to be present.

Questions ABOUT the Dover Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Dover, Tennessee?

In Tennessee, the municipal court is a lower court 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 offenses and misdemeanor crimes.

What does the municipal court handle in Dover, Tennessee?

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 deal with by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Dover Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Tennessee?

A municipal court judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until they retire. Judges are commonly chosen by precincts with each precinct’s results weighted based on population. Municipal magistrates are often not attorneys but have some legal education and must finish multiple hours of ongoing courses every year to maintain their licenses.