Harrington Park Municipal Court – Harrington Park, NJ

Oct 26, 2021

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

Harrington Park Municipal Court INformation

Court: Harrington Park Municipal Court
Address: “85 Harriot Avenue, Harrington Park, NJ 07640”
Phone: 201-768-0500

City: Harrington Park
County: Bergen
State: New Jersey

What is the purpose of the Harrington Park Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they work with minor crimes, civil disputes, and traffic matters. Courthouses like Harrington Park Municipal Court are the first level of court for this group of matters.

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 family matters, personal injury cases, more serious criminal infractions, or breaches of contract.

County courts have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil actions that won’t exceed the amount of $15k, while the circuits courts handle felony cases and larger civil cases.

TYPES OF CASES seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Harrington Park, New Jersey

Municipal courts are the lowest level of courthouses 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 service their people or to save money on administrative costs. The cases 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 infractions.

You will not find a standard for what makes a misdemeanor charge versus a felony case, 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 handled in the municipal court in Harrington Park?

Municipal courts are the entry level 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. 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 assist for a specific time.

Magistrates 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 protect evidence from crime scenes
  • start preliminary inquiries to establish if there is enough evidence to mount a charge

The typical process of a Municipal Court matter

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

First Step: An Issuance of Summons

A court summons is issued when an individual has been charged with violating a city ordinance or state law. The citizen who has received the summons will need to appear at their assigned time and location, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to respond for the charge(s) against them. If they don’t appear, they may be found guilty anyways and could be fined up to $1k or sentenced to jail time 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 person. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Harrington Park, NJ

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

A violation is a crime that carries a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor can possess penalties up to $1k 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 courthouses vary depending on the severity of an charges. 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.

Harrington Park Municipal Court Records

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

FAQs ABOUT the Harrington Park Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Harrington Park, New Jersey?

In New Jersey, the municipal court is a lower court 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 charges and misdemeanor charges.

What does the municipal court handle in Harrington Park, 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. Serious cases/crimes are deal with by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Harrington Park Municipal Court have?

The count 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 they retire. Judges are sometimes chosen by precincts with each precinct’s results judged based on population. Municipal judges are often not attorneys but have some legal education and must complete several hours of ongoing material every period to maintain their licenses.