Hackensack Municipal Court – Hackensack, NJ

by | Oct 26, 2021

A municipal court is a court with small jurisdiction over criminal offenses and civil disputes inside its location. These courts can be located at the county or city tier.

Hackensack Municipal Court INformation

Court: Hackensack Municipal Court
Address: “215 State Street, Hackensack, NJ 07601”
Phone: 201-646-3971

City: Hackensack
County: Bergen
State: New Jersey

What is the role of the Hackensack Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they work with minor crimes, civil matters, and traffic incidents. Courthouses like Hackensack 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 divorce or other family matters, personal injury, more serious criminal charges, or lawsuits.

County courts have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil matters that can not exceed the amount of $15k, while the circuits courts handle felony matters and larger civil cases.

TYPES OF CASES adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Hackensack, New Jersey

Municipal courts are the entry level of courts 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 help their citizens or to save money on costs. The cases that will be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic violations, low level criminal charges and code violations.

You will not find a standard for what constitutes a misdemeanor crime versus a felony crime, 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 Hackensack?

Municipal courts are the first tier of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic crimes, 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 a lawyer, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council board to serve for a specific duration.

Magistrates preside over hearings to determine:

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

The typical process of a Municipal Court matter

The process of a municipal courthouse case can be tricky. The following material is an overview of the steps involved in a typical municipal court case.

Step One: An Issuance of Summons

A summons is issued when a person has been charged with violating a town rule or state law. The individual who has received the summons will need to appear at their assigned time and location, 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 in absentia and could be fined up to $1k or given a jail sentence 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 Hackensack, NJ

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 accurate for the Hackensack Municipal Court. 

A violation is a crime that carries a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor can have 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 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 will be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

Hackensack Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal court may be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one place or system. The records that an individual 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 needed by law to be available.

Questions ABOUT the Hackensack Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Hackensack, New Jersey?

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

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

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 Hackensack Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in New Jersey?

A municipal court judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until retirement. Judges are commonly chosen by precincts with each precinct’s results judged according to the number of people. Municipal judges are often not attorneys but have some legal training and must finish multiple hours of ongoing material every year to maintain their credentials.