Falls City Municipal Court – Falls City, OR

Oct 26, 2021

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

Falls City Municipal Court INformation

Court: Falls City Municipal Court
Address: “299 Mill Street, Falls City, OR 97344”
Phone: 503-787-3631

City: Falls City
County: Polk
State: Oregon

What is the purpose of the Falls City Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they handle minor criminal charges, civil cases, and traffic tickets. Courts like Falls City Municipal Court are the first level of court for these types of cases.

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

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

TYPES OF Matters adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Falls City, Oregon

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 population or to save money on administrative costs. 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 violations.

You will not see a set definition for what constitutes a misdemeanor versus a felony case, 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 Falls City?

Municipal courts are the first 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 handled 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 duration.

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 individuals by police officers
  • Issue search warrants to police officers in order to secure evidence from crime locations
  • start preliminary examinations to establish if there is enough evidence to mount a charge

The usual process of a Municipal Court Case

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

First Step: An Issuance of Summons

A court summons is issued when a person has been charged with violating a local rule or state law. The citizen 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 come, 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: Show Up before Judge or Magistrate

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

Municipal Court Penalties in Falls City, OR

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 Falls City Municipal Court. 

A violation is an offense that carries a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor can possess penalties up to $1k 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 medical prescription for it then you could be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

Falls City Municipal Court Records

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

FAQs ABOUT the Falls City Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Falls City, Oregon?

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

What does the municipal court handle in Falls City, Oregon?

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

How many judges does the Falls City Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Oregon?

A municipal court judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set term of years or until they retire. Judges are commonly elected by precincts with each precinct’s results judged according to the number of people. Municipal judges are generally not lawyers but have some legal training and must complete several hours of continuing courses every period to maintain their credentials.