Elizabethton Municipal Court – Elizabethton, TN

by | Oct 27, 2021

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

Elizabethton Municipal Court INformation

Court: Elizabethton Municipal Court
Address: “136 South Sycamore Street, Elizabethton, TN 37643”
Phone: 423-547-6419

City: Elizabethton
County: Carter
State: Tennessee

What is the role of the Elizabethton Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they handle minor crimes, civil cases, and traffic violations. Courthouses like Elizabethton Municipal Court are the first level of court for these types of cases.

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 family law matters, injury cases, more serious criminal infractions, or lawsuits.

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

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

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 locales share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better service their citizens or to save money on overhead costs. The cases that may be heard by a municipal court vary depending on the municipality, but typically include traffic crimes, low level criminal charges and code infractions.

You will not see a set definition for what establishes a misdemeanor crime versus a felony, 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

How are cases handled in the municipal court in Elizabethton?

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 have often been called 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 serve for a specific time.

Magistrates manage hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for arrest
  • Set bail amounts and the conditions of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against individuals by police officers
  • Issue search warrants to police officers in order to seize evidence from crime scenes
  • start preliminary examinations to understand if there is enough evidence to mount a charge

The Process of a Municipal Court Case

The process of a municipal court case can be difficult to navigate. The next portion is an overview of the common items involved in a regular municipal court case.

First Step: An Issuance of Summons

A court summons is given when a person has been charged with violating a town rule or state law. The person who has received the summons will need to appear at their assigned time and courthouse, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to answer for the charge(s) against them. If they fail to appear, they may be found guilty anyways and could be fined up to $1k or given a jail sentence if it’s a serious enough offense.

Second Step: 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 Elizabethton, TN

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 Elizabethton Municipal Court. 

A violation is a crime that carries a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor crime 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 crimes 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.

Elizabethton Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal government may be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one location or system. The records that an individual might need to depend on the type of case they have in front of the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what kind of of information is needed by law to be present.

Questions ABOUT the Elizabethton Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Elizabethton, Tennessee?

In Tennessee, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal jurisdiction within a town or municipality. Municipal courts will have a small jurisdiction and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty crimes and misdemeanor charges.

What does the municipal court handle in Elizabethton, 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. Serious cases/crimes are deal with by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Elizabethton Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Tennessee?

A municipal courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set term of years or until retirement. Judges are sometimes elected by the people 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 finish many hours of continuing education every period to maintain their licenses.