Gulf Shores Municipal Court – Gulf Shores, AL

Oct 25, 2021

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A municipal court is a court with limited area of authority over criminal charges and civil matters within its area. These courts can be located at the county or city level.

Gulf Shores Municipal Court INformation

Court: Gulf Shores Municipal Court
Address: “Erie Hall Meyer Municipal Annex 203 Clubhouse Dr, #A, PO Box 299, Gulf Shores, AL 36547”
Phone: 251-968-6780

City: Gulf Shores
County: Baldwin
State: Alabama

What is the role of the Gulf Shores Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they work with minor crimes, civil disputes, and traffic matters. Courts like Gulf Shores Municipal Court are the first level of court for this group of matters.

In other situations, the purpose 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, more serious criminal infractions, or lawsuits.

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

TYPES OF affairs seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Gulf Shores, Alabama

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 assist their citizens or to save money on costs. The cases that may be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic tickets, low level criminal charges and code violations.

There is no set definition for what makes 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

 

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what is the procedure for cases in the municipal court in Gulf Shores?

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 often known as city courts or town courts. Cases are managed by a magistrate who is usually a lawyer, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council board to assist for a specific period of time.

Judges administer hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for 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 seize evidence from crime locations
  • start preliminary inquiries to understand if there is enough evidence to issue a charge

The typical process of a Municipal Court Case

The common process of a municipal courthouse case can be difficult to navigate. The following material is an overview of the common items involved in a regular municipal court matter.

First Step: Issuance of Summons

A summons is sent when an individual has been charged with violating a town ordinance or state law. The citizen who has received the summons will need to be present at their assigned time and courthouse, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to respond for the charge(s) against them. If they don’t come, they may be found guilty in absentia and could be fined up to $1000 or sentenced to jail time if it’s a serious enough offense.

Second Step: Show Up 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 Gulf Shores, AL

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

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

 

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Gulf Shores Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal government may 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 in front of the court, where it’s at in the process, and what type of information is needed by law to be present.

Common Questions ABOUT the Gulf Shores Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Gulf Shores, Alabama?

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

What does the municipal court handle in Gulf Shores, Alabama?

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. Serious cases/crimes are deal with by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Gulf Shores Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Alabama?

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

 

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