Harrisburg Municipal Court – Harrisburg, OR

Oct 26, 2021

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

Harrisburg Municipal Court INformation

Court: Harrisburg Municipal Court
Address: “354 Smith Street, PO Box 286, Harrisburg, OR 97446”
Phone: 541-995-8311

City: Harrisburg
County: Linn
State: Oregon

What is the purpose of the Harrisburg Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they deal with minor criminal charges, civil cases, and traffic tickets. Courts like Harrisburg 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 family matters, personal injury, more serious criminal infractions, or contract disputes.

County courthouses 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 Harrisburg, Oregon

Municipal courts are the entry level of courts 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 assist their population or to save money on expenditures. The matters that may be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic matters, small criminal charges and code infractions.

There is no set definition for what constitutes 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 Harrisburg?

Municipal courts are the entry level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic violations, 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 an attorney, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council members to serve for a specific period of time.

Judges administer hearings to determine:

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

The common process of a Municipal Court Case

The common path of a municipal court case can be tricky. The following material is an overview of the common items involved in a typical municipal court case.

First Step: 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 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 appear, they may be found guilty in absentia and could be fined up to $1k or sentenced to jail time if it’s a serious enough offense.

Step Two: Appearance 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 Harrisburg, OR

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

A violation is an offense that carries a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor charge can possess penalties up to $1k 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 crimes in municipal courthouses 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 could be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

Harrisburg 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 type of charge they have in front of the court, where it’s at in the process, and what kind of of information is needed by law to be present.

Common Questions ABOUT the Harrisburg Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Harrisburg, Oregon?

In Oregon, 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 crimes and misdemeanors.

What does the municipal court handle in Harrisburg, Oregon?

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 handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Harrisburg Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Oregon?

A municipal courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set term of years or until retirement. Judges are commonly chosen by the people with each precinct’s results evaluated according to the number of people. Municipal judges are often not lawyers but have some legal training and must complete many hours of continuing material every year to maintain their credentials.