Hamilton Municipal Division – Kingston, MO

by | Oct 26, 2021

A municipal court is a court with small area of authority over criminal offenses and civil disputes within its area. These courts can be located at the city or county tier.

Hamilton Municipal Division INformation

Court: Hamilton Municipal Division
Address: “Caldwell County Courthouse 49 East Main Street, PO Box 68, Kingston, MO 64650”
Phone: 816-586-2771

City: Kingston
County: Caldwell
State: Missouri

What is the purpose of the Hamilton Municipal Division?

Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they deal with minor crimes, civil cases, and traffic tickets. Courts like Hamilton Municipal Division are the first level of court for these types of cases.

On the other hand, 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, injury cases, more serious criminal charges, or contract disputes.

County courts have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil actions that can not exceed the amount of $15,000.00, while the circuits courts handle felony matters and bigger civil cases.

TYPES OF Legal Matters seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Kingston, Missouri

Municipal courts are the entry 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 service their citizens or to save money on expenditures. The matters that will be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic matters, low level criminal charges and code infractions.

You will not see a set definition for what makes a misdemeanor charge versus a felony charge, 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 Kingston?

Municipal courts are the entry level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic matters, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are popularly known 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 members to help for a specific time period.

Judges preside over hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for arrest
  • Set bail amounts and the 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
  • Conduct preliminary inquiries to establish if there is enough evidence to issue a charge

The usual process of a Municipal Court matter

The common process of a municipal court case can be difficult to navigate. The next portion is an overview of the most common steps involved in a regular municipal court matter.

First Step: Issuance of Summons

A summons is issued 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 place, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to answer for the charge(s) against them. If they fail to appear, they may be found guilty in absentia and could be fined up to $1,000.00 or given a jail term if it’s a serious enough offense.

Step Two: 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 Kingston, MO

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

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 charges in municipal courthouses vary depending on the severity of an charges. 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.

Hamilton Municipal Division 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 a person might need to depend on the type of charge they have in front of the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what type of information is needed by law to be present.

Questions ABOUT the Hamilton Municipal Division

What is municipal court in Kingston, 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 charges and misdemeanor crimes.

What does the municipal court handle in Kingston, 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. More serious cases/crimes are deal with by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Hamilton Municipal Division have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Missouri?

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 the people with each precinct’s results evaluated according to the number of people. Municipal magistrates are generally not attorneys but have some legal education and must complete multiple hours of continuing material every period to maintain their licenses.