Fayette Municipal Division – Fayette, MO

Oct 26, 2021

A municipal court is a court with small area of authority over criminal charges and civil matters inside its area. These courts can be found at the city or county tier.

Fayette Municipal Division INformation

Court: Fayette Municipal Division
Address: “Howard County Courthouse 1 Courthouse Square, Fayette, MO 65248”
Phone: 660-248-2194

City: Fayette
County: Howard
State: Missouri

What is the purpose of the Fayette Municipal Division?

Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they handle minor crimes, civil cases, and traffic matters. Courts like Fayette Municipal Division 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 matters, personal injury cases, more serious criminal charges, or breaches of contract.

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 more expansive civil matters.

TYPES OF Legal Matters seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Fayette, Missouri

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 places share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better service their people or to save money on expenditures. The cases that will be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic tickets, criminal misdemeanors and code violations.

There is no set definition for what establishes a misdemeanor crime versus a felony, 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 Fayette?

Municipal courts are the first level 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. 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 help for a specific time.

Magistrates administer hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for arrest
  • Set bail amounts and terms 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 inquiries to learn if there is enough evidence to mount a charge

The typical process of a Municipal Court Case

The common path of a municipal court case can be complicated. The next portion is an overview of the common items involved in a regular municipal court case.

First Step: Issuance of Summons

A summons from the court is given when a person has been charged with violating a city rule or state law. The individual 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 never appear, they may be found guilty anyways and could be fined up to $1k or given a jail term 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 Fayette, MO

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 Fayette Municipal Division. 

A violation is an offense that carries a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor charge can have penalties up to $1,000.00 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 courts vary depending on the severity of an offenses. 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.

Fayette Municipal Division 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 available.

Common Questions ABOUT the Fayette Municipal Division

What is municipal court in Fayette, Missouri?

In Missouri, the municipal court is a lower level with civil and criminal jurisdiction within a city or municipality. Municipal courts thus 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 Fayette, Missouri?

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 deal with by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Fayette Municipal Division have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Missouri?

A municipal courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set term of years or until retirement. Judges are commonly chosen by precincts with each precinct’s results evaluated based on the number of people. Municipal judges are often not attorneys but have some legal education and must complete several hours of ongoing education every period to maintain their licenses.