Fredericktown Municipal Court – Fredericktown, MO

by | Oct 26, 2021

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

Fredericktown Municipal Court INformation

Court: Fredericktown Municipal Court
Address: “120 West Main Street, Fredericktown, MO 63645”
Phone: 573-783-7401

City: Fredericktown
County: Madison
State: Missouri

What is the role of the Fredericktown Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they work with minor crimes, civil disputes, and traffic violations. Courthouses like Fredericktown Municipal Court are the first level of court for these types of cases.

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 family matters, personal injury cases, more serious criminal charges, or lawsuits.

County courthouses have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil actions that can not exceed the amount of $15,000.00, while the circuits courts handle felonies and more expansive civil cases.

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

Municipal courts are the bottom rung of courts 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 help their population or to save money on costs. The matters that will be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic violations, small criminal charges and code violations.

You will not find a standard for what establishes a misdemeanor crime versus a felony case, but generally speaking felonies would require more time in jail than misdemeanor crimes and fines may also be higher for felonies. Traffic violations usually result in points against your driver’s license as well

What’s the process for cases in the municipal court in Fredericktown?

Municipal courts are the first level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic matters, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are often known as 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 members to serve for a specific time.

Judges manage hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for an arrest
  • Set bail amounts and conditions of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against defendants by police officers
  • Distribute search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to secure evidence from crime locations
  • Conduct preliminary examinations to determine if there is enough evidence to charge

The Process of a Municipal Court matter

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

First Step: An Issuance of Summons

A summons is sent when an individual has been charged with violating a city rule or state law. The individual who has received the summons from the court will need to show up at their assigned time and courthouse, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to answer for the charge(s) against them. If they fail to appear, they may be found guilty anyways and could be fined up to $1k 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 Fredericktown, MO

Penalties change often, which is why it’s best to speak with licensed attorney near you. The information below represents common penalties, but may not be 100% accurate for the Fredericktown Municipal Court. 

A violation is an offense that has a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor charge can have penalties up to $1k 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 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 will be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

Fredericktown Municipal Court Records

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

Questions ABOUT the Fredericktown Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Fredericktown, Missouri?

In Missouri, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal matters 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 charges.

What does the municipal court handle in Fredericktown, 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 handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Fredericktown Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Missouri?

A municipal courthouse 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 weighted based on the number of people. Municipal judges are generally not lawyers but have some legal education and must finish many hours of continuing education every year to maintain their credentials.