Hanover Township Municipal Court – Whippany, NJ

Oct 26, 2021

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

Hanover Township Municipal Court INformation

Court: Hanover Township Municipal Court
Address: “1000 Route 10 West, Whippany, NJ 07981”
Phone: 973-428-2519

City: Whippany
County: Morris
State: New Jersey

What is the role of the Hanover Township Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they work with minor criminal charges, civil matters, and traffic violations. Courthouses like Hanover Township Municipal Court 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 infractions, or lawsuits.

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

TYPES OF Legal Matters adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Whippany, New Jersey

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 places share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better help their population or to save money on costs. The matters that could be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic violations, low level crimes and code violations.

You will not find a standard for what makes a misdemeanor crime versus a felony crime, but generally speaking felonies would require more time in jail than misdemeanors 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 Whippany?

Municipal courts are the first level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic violations, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are often known as city courts or town courts. Matters are handled by a magistrate who is usually an attorney, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council board to assist for a specific duration.

Judges preside over hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for an arrest
  • Set bail amounts and terms of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against defendants by police officers
  • Distribute search warrants to police officers in order to seize evidence from crime locations
  • start preliminary examinations to understand if there is enough evidence to mount a charge

The common process of a Municipal Court Case

The process of a municipal courthouse case can be difficult to navigate. 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 given when an individual has been charged with violating a local rule or state law. The person who has received the summons from the court will need to show up at their assigned time and location, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to respond 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 sentence if it’s a serious enough offense.

Second Step: 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 individual. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Whippany, NJ

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 accurate for the Hanover Township Municipal Court. 

A violation is an offense that carries a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor crime can have penalties up to $1,000.00 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 offenses in municipal courts vary depending on the severity of an offenses. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a medical prescription for it then you could be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.

Hanover Township 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 type of case they have in front of the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what type of information is required by law to be available.

Common Questions ABOUT the Hanover Township Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Whippany, New Jersey?

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

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

Depending on the area 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 handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Hanover Township Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in New Jersey?

A municipal courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until retirement. Judges are commonly chosen by the people with each precinct’s results weighted according to population. Municipal judges are often not lawyers but have some legal training and must complete several hours of ongoing courses every year to maintain their licenses.