Ferguson Municipal Court – Ferguson, MO

by | Oct 26, 2021

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

Ferguson Municipal Court INformation

Court: Ferguson Municipal Court
Address: “222 South Florissant Road, Ferguson, MO 63135”
Phone: 314-524-5264

City: Ferguson
County: St. Louis
State: Missouri

What is the purpose of the Ferguson Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they work with minor criminal charges, civil matters, and traffic matters. Courts like Ferguson Municipal Court are the first level of court for this group of matters.

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 divorce or other family matters, injury cases, more serious criminal infractions, or breaches of contract.

County courthouses have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil matters that won’t exceed the amount of $15,000.00, while the circuits courts handle felony cases and bigger civil matters.

TYPES OF affairs HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Ferguson, Missouri

Municipal courts are the lowest level of courthouses in the United States. 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 assist their citizens or to save money on overhead costs. The cases that could be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic crimes, low level criminal charges and code violations.

You will not find a standard for what establishes a misdemeanor charge 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 Ferguson?

Municipal courts are the entry level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic matters, 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 an attorney, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council members to serve 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 suspects by police officers
  • Issue search warrants to police officers in order to seize evidence from crime locations
  • Conduct preliminary examinations to learn if there is enough evidence to charge

The typical process of a Municipal Court Case

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

First Step: 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 court summons will need to show up at their assigned time and place, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to answer 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: 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 Ferguson, 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 Ferguson Municipal Court. 

A violation is a crime that has a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor charge can have penalties up to $1,000.00 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 crimes. 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.

Ferguson 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 an individual might need to depend on the type of charge they have before the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what type of information is needed by law to be available.

Questions ABOUT the Ferguson Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Ferguson, Missouri?

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

What does the municipal court handle in Ferguson, Missouri?

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. Serious cases/crimes are deal with by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Ferguson Municipal Court have?

The count 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 they retire. Judges are sometimes chosen by the people with each precinct’s results judged based on the number of people. Municipal magistrates are generally not attorneys but have some legal education and must finish several hours of ongoing education every year to maintain their licenses.