Hillsboro Municipal Court – Hillsboro, WV

by | Oct 28, 2021

A municipal court is a court with small jurisdiction over criminal offenses and civil matters inside its geographic area. These courts can be located at the city or county tier.

Hillsboro Municipal Court INformation

Court: Hillsboro Municipal Court
Address: “PO Box 88, Hillsboro, WV 24946”
Phone: 304-653-4005

City: Hillsboro
County: Pocahontas
State: West Virginia

What is the purpose of the Hillsboro Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they deal with minor crimes, civil cases, and traffic matters. Courthouses like Hillsboro 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, personal injury cases, more serious criminal infractions, or lawsuits.

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

TYPES OF Legal Matters seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Hillsboro, West Virginia

Municipal courts are the entry level of courts in the U.S.. 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 people or to save money on administrative costs. The cases that could be heard by a municipal court vary depending on the municipality, but typically include traffic crimes, low level crimes and code violations.

There is no set definition for what makes a misdemeanor crime 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 Hillsboro?

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 popularly known city courts or town courts. Matters 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 serve 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 suspects by police officers
  • Issue search warrants to police officers in order to protect evidence from crime scenes
  • Conduct preliminary examinations to learn if there is enough evidence to mount a charge

The common process of a Municipal Court Case

The common process of a municipal court case can be complicated. The following material is an overview of the steps involved in a regular municipal court case.

Step One: An Issuance of Summons

A court summons is given when someone has been charged with violating a local ordinance or state law. The citizen who has received the summons 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 come, they may be found guilty in absentia and could be fined up to $1,000.00 or given a jail sentence if it’s a serious enough offense.

Step Two: 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 Hillsboro, 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 Hillsboro Municipal Court. 

A violation is a crime that has a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor charge can carry 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 offenses in municipal courthouses 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.

Hillsboro Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal government could be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one place or system. The records that a person might need to depend on the type of matter they have in front of the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what type of information is needed by law to be available.

Questions ABOUT the Hillsboro Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Hillsboro, West Virginia?

In West Virginia, the municipal court is a lower level with civil and criminal jurisdiction within a city or municipality. Municipal courts will 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 Hillsboro, West Virginia?

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 Hillsboro Municipal Court have?

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

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 sometimes chosen by precincts with each precinct’s results judged according to the number of people. Municipal judges are often not lawyers but have some legal training and must finish multiple hours of ongoing education every year to maintain their licenses.