Fairmont Municipal Court – Fairmont, WV

by | Oct 28, 2021

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

Fairmont Municipal Court INformation

Court: Fairmont Municipal Court
Address: “500 Quincy Street, Fairmont, WV 26554”
Phone: 304-366-9280 ext. 443

City: Fairmont
County: Marion
State: West Virginia

What is the purpose of the Fairmont Municipal Court?

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

On the other hand, the role of a county court is to deal with a large number of civil disputes within the respective region. Most cases involve family law matters, accident cases, more serious criminal infractions, or breaches of contract.

County courthouses have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil matters that can not exceed the amount of $15k, while the circuits courts handle felony matters and larger civil cases.

TYPES OF Legal Matters HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Fairmont, West Virginia

Municipal courts are the lowest level of courts in the U.S.. They are usually found within the jurisdiction where they are located, but some jurisdictions share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better service their citizens or to save money on expenditures. The matters that will be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic crimes, small criminal charges and code infractions.

You will not see a set definition for what establishes a misdemeanor versus a felony crime, 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 managed in the municipal court in Fairmont?

Municipal courts are the first level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic crimes, 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 board to serve for a specific period of time.

Judges preside over 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
  • Issue search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to protect evidence from crime scenes
  • Conduct preliminary examinations to establish if there is enough evidence to charge

The common process of a Municipal Court matter

The common path of a municipal court case can be difficult to navigate. The following material is an overview of the common items involved in a typical municipal court matter.

First Step: Issuance of Summons

A court summons is sent when an individual has been charged with violating a city rule or state law. The citizen who has received the summons from the court will need to be present at their assigned time and location, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to answer for the charge(s) against them. If they never appear, they may be found guilty anyways and could be fined up to $1k or sentenced to jail time if it’s a serious enough offense.

Second Step: 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 individual. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Fairmont, WV

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

A violation is an offense that carries a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor can carry 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 charges 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 $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.

Fairmont Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal court could 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 before the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what type of information is required by law to be present.

Questions ABOUT the Fairmont Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Fairmont, West Virginia?

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

What does the municipal court handle in Fairmont, 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 Fairmont 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 courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until they retire. Judges are commonly elected by the people with each precinct’s results evaluated according to the number of people. Municipal magistrates are generally not attorneys but have some legal education and must finish many hours of continuing material every year to maintain their credentials.