Frelinghuysen Township Municipal Court – Columbia, NJ

Oct 26, 2021

A municipal court is a court with restrictive area of authority over criminal charges and civil disputes within its location. These courts can be found at the county or city tier.

Frelinghuysen Township Municipal Court INformation

Court: Frelinghuysen Township Municipal Court
Address: “628 Route 94, Columbia, NJ 07832”
Phone: 908-496-4131

City: Columbia
County: Warren
State: New Jersey

What is the purpose of the Frelinghuysen Township Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they work with minor crimes, civil cases, and traffic matters. Courts like Frelinghuysen Township Municipal Court are the first level of court for these types of cases.

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 matters, personal injury cases, more serious criminal infractions, or lawsuits.

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

TYPES OF Legal Matters adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Columbia, New Jersey

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 places share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better serve their citizens or to save money on costs. The matters that will be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic violations, criminal misdemeanors and code violations.

You will not see a set definition for what makes a misdemeanor charge versus a felony crime, but generally speaking felonies would require more time in jail than misdemeanors and fines may also be higher for felonies. Traffic violations usually result in points against your driver’s license as well

what is the procedure for cases in the municipal court in Columbia?

Municipal courts are the lowest 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 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 assist for a specific duration.

Magistrates preside over hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for an arrest
  • Set bail amounts and terms of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against defendants by police officers
  • Distribute search warrants to police officers in order to secure evidence from crime scenes
  • Conduct preliminary inquiries to learn if there is enough evidence to issue a charge

The Process of a Municipal Court matter

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

First Step: An Issuance of Summons

A court summons is given when someone has been charged with violating a city ordinance or state law. The individual who has received the summons will need to show up at their assigned time and place, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to respond 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 given a jail sentence if it’s a serious enough offense.

Second Step: 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 person. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Columbia, NJ

Penalties change often, which is why it’s good to speak with licensed attorney. The information below represents common penalties, but may not be accurate for the Frelinghuysen Township Municipal Court. 

A violation is a crime that carries a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor charge can carry penalties up to $1000 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 charges in municipal courthouses vary depending on the severity of an charges. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a prescription for it then you will be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

Frelinghuysen Township Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal court could be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one location or system. The records that a person might need to depend on the matter they have before the court, where it’s at in the process, and what type of information is required by law to be present.

Common Questions ABOUT the Frelinghuysen Township Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Columbia, New Jersey?

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

What does the municipal court handle in Columbia, New Jersey?

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 Frelinghuysen Township Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in New Jersey?

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 precincts with each precinct’s results judged based on the number of people. Municipal judges are often not attorneys but have some legal education and must complete multiple hours of continuing courses every period to maintain their licenses.