Eunice Municipal Court – Eunice, NM

by | Oct 26, 2021

A municipal court is a court with limited jurisdiction over criminal charges and civil matters within its location. These courts can be found at the county or city level.

Eunice Municipal Court INformation

Court: Eunice Municipal Court
Address: “1321 Main Street, PO Box 147, Eunice, NM 88231”
Phone: 575-394-2635

City: Eunice
County: Lea
State: New Mexico

What is the purpose of the Eunice Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they deal with minor criminal charges, civil matters, and traffic tickets. Courts like Eunice Municipal Court are the first level of court for these types of cases.

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 family matters, personal injury cases, more serious criminal infractions, or contract disputes.

County courthouses have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil actions that can’t exceed the amount of $15,000, while the circuits courts handle felonies and larger civil cases.

TYPES OF Legal Matters HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Eunice, New Mexico

Municipal courts are the bottom rung 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 assist their people or to save money on overhead costs. The matters that may be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic crimes, low level crimes and code violations.

You will not see a set definition for what makes a misdemeanor versus a felony case, 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

What’s the process for cases in the municipal court in Eunice?

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. Matters are managed by a magistrate who is usually an attorney, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council members to serve for a specific period of time.

Magistrates manage hearings to determine:

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

The common process of a Municipal Court matter

The common process of a municipal courthouse case can be difficult to navigate. The following is an overview of the steps involved in a regular municipal court matter.

Step One: Issuance of Summons

A summons is sent when a person has been charged with violating a city rule or state law. The person 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 given a jail term if it’s a serious enough offense.

Step Two: Show Up 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 Eunice, NM

Penalties change often, which is why it’s good to speak with licensed lawyer. The material below represents common penalties, but may not be accurate for the Eunice Municipal Court. 

A violation is an offense that carries a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor charge can have 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 offenses. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a medical prescription for it then you could be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

Eunice Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal government 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 type of charge they have before the court, where it’s at in the process, and what kind of of information is needed by law to be present.

FAQs ABOUT the Eunice Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Eunice, New Mexico?

In New Mexico, the municipal court is a lower level with civil and criminal jurisdiction within a town or municipality. Municipal courts thus 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 Eunice, New Mexico?

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 handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Eunice Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in New Mexico?

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 the people with each precinct’s results weighted according to the number of people. Municipal judges are generally not lawyers but have some legal training and must complete multiple hours of continuing education every year to maintain their credentials.