Elkins Municipal Court – Elkins, WV

by | Oct 28, 2021

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

Elkins Municipal Court INformation

Court: Elkins Municipal Court
Address: “401 Davis Avenue, Elkins, WV 26241”
Phone: 304-636-1414

City: Elkins
County: Randolph
State: West Virginia

What is the role of the Elkins Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they work with minor criminal charges, civil matters, and traffic violations. Courts like Elkins 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 divorce or other family matters, personal injury cases, more serious criminal charges, or contract disputes.

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

TYPES OF affairs seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Elkins, West Virginia

Municipal courts are the lowest level of courthouses 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 assist their population or to save money on expenditures. The cases that may be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic violations, criminal misdemeanors and code infractions.

You will not find a standard for what makes a misdemeanor crime 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 Elkins?

Municipal courts are the lowest level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic violations, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are have often been called 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 members to assist for a specific period of time.

Magistrates manage hearings to determine:

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

The Process of a Municipal Court Case

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

Step One: An Issuance of Summons

A summons from the court is sent when a person has been charged with violating a town rule or state law. The individual who has received the summons from the court will need to be present 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 in absentia and could be fined up to $1k or sentenced to jail time if it’s a serious enough offense.

Second Step: 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 person. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Elkins, WV

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

A violation is a crime that carries a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor crime can carry penalties up to $1000 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 crimes 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 $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

Elkins Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal court may be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one area 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 type of information is needed by law to be present.

FAQs ABOUT the Elkins Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Elkins, West Virginia?

In West Virginia, the municipal court is a lower level 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 crimes.

What does the municipal court handle in Elkins, West Virginia?

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. More serious cases/crimes are handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Elkins Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in West Virginia?

A municipal court 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 judged according to population. Municipal magistrates are often not attorneys but have some legal training and must complete multiple hours of continuing material every year to maintain their credentials.