Harper Municipal Court – Harper, KS

by | Oct 26, 2021

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

Harper Municipal Court INformation

Court: Harper Municipal Court
Address: “201 West Main, PO Box 337, Harper, KS 67058”
Phone: 620-896-2511

City: Harper
County: Harper
State: Kansas

What is the role of the Harper Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they handle minor criminal charges, civil cases, and traffic matters. Courts like Harper Municipal Court are the first level of court for these types of cases.

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 divorce or other family matters, personal injury cases, more serious criminal charges, or breaches of contract.

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

TYPES OF Matters HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Harper, Kansas

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 serve their citizens or to save money on administrative costs. The matters that may be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic matters, low level criminal charges and code violations.

You will not find a standard for what constitutes a misdemeanor charge versus a felony, 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 managed in the municipal court in Harper?

Municipal courts are the first 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 an attorney, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council board to help for a specific time.

Magistrates manage hearings to determine:

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

The Process of a Municipal Court Case

The process of a municipal court case can be tricky. The next portion is an overview of the most common steps involved in a typical municipal court case.

Step One: An Issuance of Summons

A court summons is sent when an individual has been charged with violating a town ordinance or state law. The citizen 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 don’t come, 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: Show Up before Judge or Magistrate

If someone fails to respond after being summoned by the judge, there may be a warrant issued for the individual. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Harper, KS

Penalties change often, which is why it’s good to speak with licensed lawyer. The material below represents common penalties, but may not be accurate for the Harper Municipal Court. 

A violation is an offense that carries a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor crime can carry penalties up to $1,000.00 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 medical prescription for it then you will be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

Harper Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal court could 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 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 Harper Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Harper, Kansas?

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

What does the municipal court handle in Harper, Kansas?

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 deal with by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Harper Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Kansas?

A municipal court 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 weighted based on population. Municipal judges are often not lawyers but have some legal education and must complete many hours of continuing courses every year to maintain their licenses.