Hartford Municipal Court – Hartford, WV

by | Oct 28, 2021

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

Hartford Municipal Court INformation

Court: Hartford Municipal Court
Address: “19 Front Street, PO Box 96, Hartford, WV 25247”
Phone: 304-882-2864

City: Hartford
County: Mason
State: West Virginia

What is the purpose of the Hartford Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they deal with minor crimes, civil disputes, and traffic matters. Courthouses like Hartford 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 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 can not exceed the amount of $15k, while the circuits courts handle felony matters and more expansive civil matters.

TYPES OF affairs HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Hartford, West Virginia

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 locales share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better help their citizens or to save money on costs. The cases that will 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 see a set definition for what establishes a misdemeanor charge versus a felony charge, but generally speaking felonies would require more time in jail than misdemeanor crimes 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 Hartford?

Municipal courts are the lowest level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic matters, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are often known as city courts or town courts. Cases 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 help for a specific time period.

Judges 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 police officers in order to secure evidence from crime scenes
  • start preliminary examinations to establish if there is enough evidence to charge

The usual process of a Municipal Court matter

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

First Step: Issuance of Summons

A court summons is issued when an individual 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 respond for the charge(s) against them. If they fail to appear, they may be found guilty anyways and could be fined up to $1,000.00 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 Hartford, WV

Penalties change often, which is why it’s best to speak with licensed attorney. The material below represents common penalties, but may not be 100% accurate for the Hartford Municipal Court. 

A violation is a crime that carries a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor charge can have 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 offenses. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a prescription for it then you will be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

Hartford 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 matter 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 available.

Questions ABOUT the Hartford Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Hartford, West Virginia?

In West Virginia, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal matters within a city or municipality. Municipal courts thus have a small area of influence and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty charges and misdemeanor crimes.

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

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. More serious cases/crimes are handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Hartford 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 they retire. Judges are commonly elected by precincts with each precinct’s results evaluated based on the number of people. Municipal judges are often not attorneys but have some legal training and must complete several hours of ongoing education every period to maintain their licenses.