Dunellen Municipal Court – Dunellen, NJ

by | Oct 26, 2021

A municipal court is a court with restrictive jurisdiction over criminal offenses and civil matters within its area. These courts can be located at the county or city level.

Dunellen Municipal Court INformation

Court: Dunellen Municipal Court
Address: “355 North Avenue, Dunellen, NJ 08812”
Phone: 732-968-3400

City: Dunellen
County: Middlesex
State: New Jersey

What is the role of the Dunellen Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they work with minor criminal charges, civil matters, and traffic matters. Courts like Dunellen 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 matters, accident cases, more serious criminal infractions, or breaches of contract.

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

TYPES OF affairs seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Dunellen, New Jersey

Municipal courts are the entry level of courts in the U.S.. They are usually found within the jurisdiction where they are located, but some places share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better service their people or to save money on expenditures. The cases that will be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic matters, criminal misdemeanors and code violations.

You will not see a set definition for what constitutes a misdemeanor charge versus a felony, but generally speaking felonies would require more time in jail than misdemeanors 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 Dunellen?

Municipal courts are the first tier of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic violations, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are often known as city courts or town courts. Matters 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 duration.

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 suspects by police officers
  • Issue search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to seize evidence from crime locations
  • Conduct preliminary examinations to establish if there is enough evidence to issue a charge

The typical process of a Municipal Court matter

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

First Step: Issuance of Summons

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

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

A violation is an offense that has a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor charge can possess penalties up to $1000 or one year in local 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 courthouses vary depending on the severity of an charges. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a prescription for it then you could be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

Dunellen Municipal Court Records

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

Common Questions ABOUT the Dunellen Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Dunellen, 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 area of influence and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty offenses and misdemeanor charges.

What does the municipal court handle in Dunellen, New Jersey?

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 Dunellen Municipal Court have?

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

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 term of years or until retirement. Judges are sometimes chosen by precincts with each precinct’s results judged according to the number of people. Municipal magistrates are generally not attorneys but have some legal education and must complete several hours of continuing material every period to maintain their licenses.