A municipal court is a court with restrictive area of authority over criminal charges and civil disputes within its area. These courts can be located at the county or city level.
Gig Harbor Municipal Court INformation
Court: Gig Harbor Municipal Court
Address: “3510 Grandview Street, Gig Harbor, WA 98335”
City: Gig Harbor
What is the purpose of the Gig Harbor Municipal Court?
Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they deal with minor crimes, civil cases, and traffic matters. Courthouses like Gig Harbor 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, personal injury cases, more serious criminal charges, or contract disputes.
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 matters and bigger civil cases.
TYPES OF affairs adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Gig Harbor, Washington
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 population or to save money on costs. The cases that may be heard by a municipal court vary depending on the municipality, but typically include traffic violations, criminal misdemeanors and code infractions.
You will not find a standard for what constitutes 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 Gig Harbor?
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 suspects by police officers
- Issue search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to seize evidence from crime locations
- Conduct preliminary inquiries to understand if there is enough evidence to issue a charge
The usual process of a Municipal Court Case
First Step: Issuance of Summons
Step Two: Appearance before Judge or Magistrate
Municipal Court Penalties in Gig Harbor, WA
Penalties change often, which is why it’s good to speak with licensed attorney near you. The material below represents common penalties, but may not be 100% accurate for the Gig Harbor Municipal Court.
A violation is an offense that has a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor crime can possess penalties up to $1k 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 could be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.
Gig Harbor Municipal Court Records
Municipal Court records from a municipal government could be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one location or system. The records that an individual might need to depend on the type of matter they have before the court, where it’s at in the process, and what kind of of information is required by law to be present.
FAQs ABOUT the Gig Harbor Municipal Court
What is municipal court in Gig Harbor, Washington?
In Washington, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal jurisdiction within a city or municipality. Municipal courts have a small location and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty crimes and misdemeanors.
What does the municipal court handle in Gig Harbor, Washington?
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 Gig Harbor Municipal Court have?
The count of judges depends on the municipality’s population.
How are cases heard in municipal courts in Washington?
A municipal courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until they retire. Judges are commonly chosen by precincts with each precinct’s results weighted according to population. Municipal magistrates are often not lawyers but have some legal training and must complete many hours of ongoing education every period to maintain their credentials.