East Orange Municipal Court – East Orange, NJ

by | Oct 26, 2021

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

East Orange Municipal Court INformation

Court: East Orange Municipal Court
Address: “221 Freeway Drive East, East Orange, NJ 07018”
Phone: 973-266-5300

City: East Orange
County: Essex
State: New Jersey

What is the purpose of the East Orange Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they deal with minor crimes, civil disputes, and traffic matters. Courthouses like East Orange Municipal Court are the first level of court for this group of matters.

In other situations, the role 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, accident cases, more serious criminal charges, or breaches of contract.

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

TYPES OF affairs seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in East Orange, 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 serve their population or to save money on costs. The matters that could be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic tickets, small criminal charges and code violations.

You will not find a standard for what constitutes a misdemeanor crime versus a felony charge, 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 managed in the municipal court in East Orange?

Municipal courts are the first tier 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 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 period of time.

Judges administer hearings to determine:

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

The typical process of a Municipal Court Case

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

Step One: An Issuance of Summons

A summons from the court is issued when a person has been charged with violating a town ordinance or state law. The citizen who has received the summons from the court will need to show up at their assigned time and location, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to answer for the charge(s) against them. If they fail to appear, 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.

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 individual. 

Municipal Court Penalties in East Orange, NJ

Penalties change often, which is why it’s good to speak with licensed attorney near you. The information below represents common penalties, but may not be 100% accurate for the East Orange Municipal Court. 

A violation is an offense that has a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor charge 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 offenses in municipal courthouses vary depending on the severity of an charges. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a medical prescription for it then you will be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.

East Orange Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal court could be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one place or system. The records that a person might need to depend on the matter they have before the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what type of information is required by law to be available.

Common Questions ABOUT the East Orange Municipal Court

What is municipal court in East Orange, New Jersey?

In New Jersey, the municipal court is a lower level with civil and criminal matters within a town or municipality. Municipal courts will have a small location and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty offenses and misdemeanor charges.

What does the municipal court handle in East Orange, New Jersey?

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 handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the East Orange Municipal Court have?

The count 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 retirement. Judges are commonly chosen by precincts with each precinct’s results weighted according to population. Municipal judges are often not attorneys but have some legal training and must finish many hours of continuing education every period to maintain their credentials.