East Hanover Municipal Court – Whippany, NJ

by | Oct 26, 2021

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

East Hanover Municipal Court INformation

Court: East Hanover Municipal Court
Address: “1000 Route 10 West, Whippany, NJ 07981”
Phone: 973-428-2519

City: Whippany
County: Morris
State: New Jersey

What is the role of the East Hanover Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they work with minor criminal charges, civil disputes, and traffic violations. Courts like East Hanover Municipal Court 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 contract disputes.

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

TYPES OF Legal Matters HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Whippany, New Jersey

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 service their population or to save money on overhead costs. The cases that could be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic violations, low level crimes and code infractions.

There is no set definition for what constitutes a misdemeanor versus a felony case, 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 Whippany?

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

Judges administer hearings to determine:

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

The common process of a Municipal Court matter

The common path of a municipal court case can be tricky. The following material is an overview of the steps involved in a typical municipal court case.

Step One: Issuance of Summons

A summons is sent when someone has been charged with violating a city ordinance or state law. The individual who has received the summons 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 never appear, they may be found guilty in absentia and could be fined up to $1,000.00 or given a jail sentence if it’s a serious enough offense.

Second Step: 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 Whippany, NJ

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 East Hanover Municipal Court. 

A violation is an offense that carries a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor can carry penalties up to $1k 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 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 $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

East Hanover Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal government may be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one place or system. The records that an individual might need to depend on the type of charge 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 East Hanover Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Whippany, New Jersey?

In New Jersey, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal matters 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 misdemeanors.

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

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. Serious cases/crimes are deal with by higher authorities.

How many judges does the East Hanover Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in New Jersey?

A municipal courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration 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 lawyers but have some legal training and must complete multiple hours of ongoing courses every period to maintain their licenses.