A municipal court is a court with restrictive area of authority over criminal charges and civil matters within its location. These courts can be found at the county or city tier.
Ferndale Municipal Court INformation
Court: Ferndale Municipal Court
Address: “2220 Main Street, PO Box 291, Ferndale, WA 98248”
What is the role of the Ferndale Municipal Court?
Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they handle minor criminal charges, civil matters, and traffic matters. Courts like Ferndale 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 family law matters, accident cases, more serious criminal charges, or breaches of contract.
County courthouses have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil matters that won’t exceed the amount of $15k, while the circuits courts handle felony cases and more expansive civil matters.
TYPES OF CASES adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Ferndale, Washington
Municipal courts are the entry 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 serve their citizens or to save money on overhead costs. The matters that could be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic matters, low level criminal charges and code violations.
You will not find a standard for what establishes a misdemeanor charge 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 Ferndale?
Magistrates administer hearings to determine:
- Probable cause for arrest
- Set bail amounts and the conditions of release
- Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against individuals by police officers
- Distribute search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to seize evidence from crime scenes
- Conduct preliminary inquiries to determine if there is enough evidence to issue a charge
The common process of a Municipal Court Case
Step One: An Issuance of Summons
Step Two: Appearance before Judge or Magistrate
Municipal Court Penalties in Ferndale, WA
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 Ferndale Municipal Court.
A violation is a crime that has a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor crime 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 offenses in municipal courthouses vary depending on the severity of an offenses. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a license for it then you will be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.
Ferndale Municipal Court Records
Municipal Court records from a municipal court 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 matter they have before the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what type of information is needed by law to be present.
Common Questions ABOUT the Ferndale Municipal Court
What is municipal court in Ferndale, Washington?
In Washington, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal matters within a city or municipality. Municipal courts thus have a small location and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty offenses and misdemeanor crimes.
What does the municipal court handle in Ferndale, Washington?
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 Ferndale Municipal Court have?
The count of judges depends on the municipality’s size.
How are cases heard in municipal courts in Washington?
A municipal court judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until they retire. Judges are sometimes chosen by precincts with each precinct’s results evaluated based on the number of people. Municipal magistrates are often not attorneys but have some legal training and must finish many hours of ongoing material every period to maintain their credentials.