Hillsborough Township Municipal Court – Hillsborough, NJ

by | Oct 26, 2021

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

Hillsborough Township Municipal Court INformation

Court: Hillsborough Township Municipal Court
Address: “379 South Branch Road, Hillsborough, NJ 08844”
Phone: 908-369-3532

City: Hillsborough
County: Somerset
State: New Jersey

What is the purpose of the Hillsborough Township Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they deal with minor criminal charges, civil matters, and traffic incidents. Courts like Hillsborough Township 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 law matters, personal injury, more serious criminal charges, or lawsuits.

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

TYPES OF affairs seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Hillsborough, New Jersey

Municipal courts are the entry level of courthouses 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 service their people or to save money on expenditures. The cases that may be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic violations, small criminal charges and code infractions.

You will not see a set definition for what makes a misdemeanor charge 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

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

Municipal courts are the lowest level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic tickets, 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 a lawyer, 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 law enforcement officers in order to seize evidence from crime locations
  • start preliminary inquiries to learn if there is enough evidence to issue a charge

The typical process of a Municipal Court Case

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

Step One: Issuance of Summons

A summons is given when an individual has been charged with violating a town ordinance or state law. The person 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 anyways and could be fined up to $1,000.00 or given a jail term 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 person. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Hillsborough, NJ

Penalties change often, which is why it’s good to speak with licensed attorney near you. The information below represents common penalties, but may not be accurate for the Hillsborough Township Municipal Court. 

A violation is an offense that carries 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 courthouses 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 $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

Hillsborough Township 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 type of matter they have in front of the court, where it’s at in the process, and what type of information is needed by law to be available.

Questions ABOUT the Hillsborough Township Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Hillsborough, New Jersey?

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

What does the municipal court handle in Hillsborough, New Jersey?

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 Hillsborough Township Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in New Jersey?

A municipal courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set term of years or until retirement. Judges are sometimes elected by precincts with each precinct’s results evaluated according to the number of people. Municipal judges are often not lawyers but have some legal education and must complete multiple hours of ongoing material every year to maintain their credentials.