Gower Municipal Court – Gower, MO

by | Oct 26, 2021

A municipal court is a court with small area of authority over criminal offenses and civil matters within its geographic area. These courts can be found at the county or city level.

Gower Municipal Court INformation

Court: Gower Municipal Court
Address: “97 North 4th Street, PO Box 408, Gower, MO 64454”
Phone: 816-424-6617

City: Gower
County: Clinton
State: Missouri

What is the purpose of the Gower Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they handle minor crimes, civil matters, and traffic violations. Courthouses like Gower 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 divorce or other family matters, accident cases, more serious criminal charges, or contract disputes.

County courts have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil actions that won’t exceed the amount of $15,000, while the circuits courts handle felonies and larger civil matters.

TYPES OF CASES seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Gower, Missouri

Municipal courts are the entry level of courthouses in the U.S.. 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 people or to save money on administrative costs. The cases that will be heard by a municipal court vary depending on the municipality, but typically include traffic crimes, low level crimes and code infractions.

You will not see a set definition for what makes a misdemeanor crime 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 Gower?

Municipal courts are the lowest level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic violations, 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 board to help for a specific period of time.

Judges administer 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 secure evidence from crime locations
  • Conduct preliminary examinations to understand if there is enough evidence to issue a charge

The usual process of a Municipal Court Case

The common path of a municipal court case can be difficult to navigate. The following is an overview of the common items involved in a typical municipal court matter.

Step One: An Issuance of Summons

A court summons is sent when an individual has been charged with violating a town rule or state law. The person who has received the summons from the court will need to appear 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 anyways and could be fined up to $1k or given a jail term 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 person. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Gower, MO

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

A violation is an offense that has a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor charge can possess 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 charges in municipal courts vary depending on the severity of an crimes. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a prescription for it then you could be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.

Gower Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal court may 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 kind of of information is required by law to be available.

Questions ABOUT the Gower Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Gower, Missouri?

In Missouri, the municipal court is a lower level with civil and criminal matters within a town or municipality. Municipal courts will have a small location and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty crimes and misdemeanors.

What does the municipal court handle in Gower, 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 Gower Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Missouri?

A municipal court judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set term of years or until retirement. Judges are commonly elected by the people with each precinct’s results evaluated according to the number of people. Municipal judges are often not attorneys but have some legal education and must finish many hours of continuing education every year to maintain their credentials.