Eastern Columbia County Joint Municipal Court – Fall River, WI

by | Oct 28, 2021

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

Eastern Columbia County Joint Municipal Court INformation

Court: Eastern Columbia County Joint Municipal Court
Address: “641 South Main Street, PO Box 96, Fall River, WI 53932”
Phone: 920-484-6320

City: Fall River
County: Columbia
State: Wisconsin

What is the purpose of the Eastern Columbia County Joint Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they work with minor criminal charges, civil cases, and traffic violations. Courthouses like Eastern Columbia County Joint 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, injury cases, more serious criminal infractions, or lawsuits.

County courthouses have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil matters that won’t exceed the amount of $15,000.00, while the circuits courts handle felony cases and more expansive civil cases.

TYPES OF CASES adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Fall River, Wisconsin

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 places share municipal courts with other municipalities.

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

There is no set definition for what constitutes a misdemeanor versus a felony, 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 Fall River?

Municipal courts are the first tier 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. Matters 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 assist for a specific time.

Judges 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
  • Conduct preliminary inquiries to understand if there is enough evidence to issue a charge

The usual process of a Municipal Court matter

The process of a municipal courthouse case can be tricky. The next portion is an overview of the steps involved in a typical municipal court matter.

Step One: Issuance of Summons

A summons is issued when an individual has been charged with violating a town rule or state law. The individual who has received the summons will need to show up at their assigned time and courthouse, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to respond for the charge(s) against them. If they don’t appear, they may be found guilty anyways and could be fined up to $1,000.00 or sentenced to jail time if it’s a serious enough offense.

Step Two: Appearance before Judge or Magistrate

If someone fails to show up after being summoned by the judge, there may be a warrant issued for the individual. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Fall River, WI

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

A violation is a crime that has a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor charge can carry penalties up to $1,000.00 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 crimes in municipal courthouses vary depending on the severity of an offenses. 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.

Eastern Columbia County Joint Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal court may 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 before the court, where it’s at in the process, and what kind of of information is needed by law to be available.

Questions ABOUT the Eastern Columbia County Joint Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Fall River, Wisconsin?

In Wisconsin, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal jurisdiction within a city or municipality. Municipal courts thus have a small area of influence and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty offenses and misdemeanor crimes.

What does the municipal court handle in Fall River, Wisconsin?

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

How many judges does the Eastern Columbia County Joint Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Wisconsin?

A municipal courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set term of years or until they retire. Judges are commonly chosen by precincts with each precinct’s results weighted based on population. Municipal magistrates are often not lawyers but have some legal education and must complete multiple hours of ongoing education every period to maintain their credentials.