Hillsboro Municipal Court – Hillsboro, OR

Oct 26, 2021

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

Hillsboro Municipal Court INformation

Court: Hillsboro Municipal Court
Address: “150 East Main Street, Hillsboro, OR 97123”
Phone: 503-681-6157

City: Hillsboro
County: Washington
State: Oregon

What is the role of the Hillsboro Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they handle minor criminal charges, civil disputes, and traffic tickets. Courthouses like Hillsboro 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 divorce or other family matters, injury cases, more serious criminal charges, or lawsuits.

County courthouses have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil matters that can not exceed the amount of $15,000, while the circuits courts handle felonies and bigger civil matters.

TYPES OF affairs adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Hillsboro, Oregon

Municipal courts are the entry level of courthouses 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 service their people or to save money on costs. The matters that will be heard by a municipal court vary depending on the municipality, but typically include traffic violations, low level criminal charges and code infractions.

You will not see a set definition for what establishes 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

how are cases managed in the municipal court in Hillsboro?

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 often known as city courts or town courts. Matters 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 assist for a specific time period.

Judges manage hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for arrest
  • Set bail amounts and conditions of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against individuals by police officers
  • Issue search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to seize evidence from crime scenes
  • Conduct preliminary inquiries to understand if there is enough evidence to charge

The usual process of a Municipal Court Case

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

First Step: An Issuance of Summons

A summons from the court is sent when a person has been charged with violating a local ordinance or state law. The citizen who has received the summons will need to be present at their assigned time and location, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to respond for the charge(s) against them. If they don’t come, they may be found guilty anyways and could be fined up to $1000 or given a jail term 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 Hillsboro, OR

Penalties change often, which is why it’s good to speak with licensed lawyer. 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 possess penalties up to $1000 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 courts 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.

Hillsboro Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal court may be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one area or system. The records that an individual might need to depend on the type of charge they have before the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what kind of of information is needed by law to be present.

Common Questions ABOUT the Hillsboro Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Hillsboro, Oregon?

In Oregon, the municipal court is a lower level with civil and criminal jurisdiction within a town or municipality. Municipal courts thus have a small location and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty charges and misdemeanor crimes.

What does the municipal court handle in Hillsboro, Oregon?

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 Hillsboro 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 they retire. Judges are sometimes elected by precincts with each precinct’s results weighted based on population. Municipal magistrates are generally not attorneys but have some legal education and must complete multiple hours of continuing courses every period to maintain their licenses.