Hazen Municipal Court – Hazen, ND

Oct 26, 2021

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

Hazen Municipal Court INformation

Court: Hazen Municipal Court
Address: “PO Box 717, Hazen, ND 58545”
Phone: 701-748-2550

City: Hazen
County: Mercer
State: North Dakota

What is the purpose of the Hazen Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they handle minor crimes, civil disputes, and traffic violations. Courts like Hazen Municipal Court are the first level of court for these types of cases.

On the other hand, 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, accident cases, more serious criminal charges, or lawsuits.

County courts have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil actions that won’t exceed the amount of $15,000, while the circuits courts handle felony cases and larger civil matters.

TYPES OF Legal Matters adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Hazen, North Dakota

Municipal courts are the lowest level of courts in the United States. 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 population or to save money on administrative costs. The matters that may be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic violations, low level crimes and code infractions.

You will not see a set definition for what makes a misdemeanor crime versus a felony case, 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’s the process for cases in the municipal court in Hazen?

Municipal courts are the first level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic matters, 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 manage hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for an 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 seize evidence from crime locations
  • Conduct preliminary inquiries to understand if there is enough evidence to charge

The typical process of a Municipal Court matter

The common process of a municipal court case can be tricky. 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 someone has been charged with violating a city rule or state law. The person who has received the summons from the court will need to show up at their assigned time and place, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to respond for the charge(s) against them. If they don’t show up, 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: 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 person. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Hazen, ND

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

A violation is an offense that carries a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor charge can have penalties up to $1000 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 license for it then you could be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

Hazen Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal court may 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 matter they have in front of the court, where it’s at in the process, and what kind of of information is required by law to be available.

Questions ABOUT the Hazen Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Hazen, North Dakota?

In North Dakota, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal matters within a city or municipality. Municipal courts have a small jurisdiction and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty offenses and misdemeanor crimes.

What does the municipal court handle in Hazen, North Dakota?

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 handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Hazen Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in North Dakota?

A municipal court judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until retirement. Judges are commonly elected by the people with each precinct’s results weighted according to population. Municipal judges are generally not attorneys but have some legal training and must finish multiple hours of ongoing material every year to maintain their credentials.