Harrisville Municipal Court – Harrisville, WV

by | Oct 28, 2021

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

Harrisville Municipal Court INformation

Court: Harrisville Municipal Court
Address: “1501 East Main Street, PO Box 243, Harrisville, WV 26362”
Phone: 304-643-2719

City: Harrisville
County: Ritchie
State: West Virginia

What is the purpose of the Harrisville Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they handle minor criminal charges, civil cases, and traffic violations. Courts like Harrisville 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, more serious criminal infractions, or contract disputes.

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

TYPES OF CASES adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Harrisville, West Virginia

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 help their population or to save money on costs. The matters that may be heard by a municipal court vary depending on the municipality, but typically include traffic tickets, low level crimes and code violations.

There is no set definition for what makes a misdemeanor crime 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

what is the procedure for cases in the municipal court in Harrisville?

Municipal courts are the first tier 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 handled 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 period of time.

Magistrates manage hearings to determine:

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

The usual process of a Municipal Court Case

The common path of a municipal courthouse case can be difficult to navigate. The next portion is an overview of the common items involved in a regular municipal court case.

First Step: An Issuance of Summons

A court summons is given when a person has been charged with violating a town rule or state law. The individual who has received the court summons 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 anyways and could be fined up to $1k or given a jail term if it’s a serious enough offense.

Second Step: 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 Harrisville, WV

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 100% accurate for the Harrisville Municipal Court. 

A violation is an offense that has a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor crime can have 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 charges 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 will be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.

Harrisville 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 matter 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.

FAQs ABOUT the Harrisville Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Harrisville, West Virginia?

In West Virginia, the municipal court is a lower level with civil and criminal matters within a town or municipality. Municipal courts have a small location and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty offenses and misdemeanors.

What does the municipal court handle in Harrisville, West Virginia?

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. Serious cases/crimes are handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Harrisville Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in West Virginia?

A municipal court 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 evaluated according to population. Municipal magistrates are often not attorneys but have some legal education and must complete many hours of ongoing education every year to maintain their licenses.