Forest Hills Municipal Court – Forest Hills, TN

by | Oct 27, 2021

A municipal court is a court with limited jurisdiction over criminal offenses and civil disputes inside its area. These courts can be located at the city or county tier.

Forest Hills Municipal Court INformation

Court: Forest Hills Municipal Court
Address: “6300 Hillsboro Pike , Forest Hills, TN 37215”
Phone: 615-372-8677

City: Forest Hills
County: Davidson
State: Tennessee

What is the purpose of the Forest Hills Municipal Court?

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

On the other hand, the purpose 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 charges, or contract disputes.

County courthouses have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil matters that can’t exceed the amount of $15,000, while the circuits courts handle felony cases and more expansive civil matters.

TYPES OF Matters adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Forest Hills, Tennessee

Municipal courts are the bottom rung of courthouses 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 help their population or to save money on costs. The matters that may be heard by a municipal court vary depending on the municipality, but typically include traffic tickets, criminal misdemeanors and code violations.

There is no set definition for what establishes a misdemeanor charge 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 Forest Hills?

Municipal courts are the entry 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. Matters are managed by a magistrate who is usually an attorney, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council members to assist for a specific time period.

Magistrates manage hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for an arrest
  • Set bail amounts and terms 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 locations
  • start preliminary inquiries to understand if there is enough evidence to mount a charge

The Process of a Municipal Court Case

The process of a municipal courthouse case can be tricky. The following is an overview of the most common steps involved in a typical municipal court case.

First Step: Issuance of Summons

A summons from the court is issued when someone has been charged with violating a local rule or state law. The person who has received the summons will need to be present at their assigned time and courthouse, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to answer for the charge(s) against them. If they don’t show up, they may be found guilty in absentia and could be fined up to $1,000.00 or sentenced to jail time if it’s a serious enough offense.

Step Two: Appearance 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 Forest Hills, TN

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

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

Forest Hills 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 type of charge they have in front of the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what kind of of information is needed by law to be present.

Common Questions ABOUT the Forest Hills Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Forest Hills, Tennessee?

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

What does the municipal court handle in Forest Hills, Tennessee?

Depending on the size 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 Forest Hills Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Tennessee?

A municipal court 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 weighted based on the number of people. Municipal magistrates are often not lawyers but have some legal education and must finish many hours of ongoing material every year to maintain their credentials.