Hillsdale Municipal Court – Hillsdale, NJ

Oct 26, 2021

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

Hillsdale Municipal Court INformation

Court: Hillsdale Municipal Court
Address: “380 Hillsdale Avenue, Hillsdale, NJ 07642”
Phone: 201-666-4800 ext. 1511

City: Hillsdale
County: Bergen
State: New Jersey

What is the purpose of the Hillsdale Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they deal with minor criminal charges, civil matters, and traffic incidents. Courthouses like Hillsdale Municipal Court are the first level of court for this group of matters.

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 law matters, personal injury, more serious criminal charges, or breaches of contract.

County courts have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil matters that can not exceed the amount of $15,000.00, while the circuits courts handle felonies and more expansive civil cases.

TYPES OF affairs adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Hillsdale, New Jersey

Municipal courts are the bottom rung of courthouses in the United States. 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 help their population or to save money on costs. The cases that will be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic crimes, low level crimes and code violations.

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

Municipal courts are the first level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic crimes, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are popularly known city courts or town courts. Cases are managed by a magistrate who is usually a lawyer, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council members to assist for a specific period of time.

Judges manage hearings to determine:

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

The usual process of a Municipal Court Case

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

First Step: Issuance of Summons

A court summons is issued when a person has been charged with violating a town ordinance or state law. The individual who has received the court summons will need to appear at their assigned time and courthouse, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to respond for the charge(s) against them. If they don’t appear, 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 respond after being summoned by the judge, there may be a warrant issued for the person. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Hillsdale, NJ

Penalties change often, which is why it’s best to speak with licensed lawyer near you. The material below represents common penalties, but may not be accurate for the Hillsdale Municipal Court. 

A violation is an offense that has a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor can possess penalties up to $1,000.00 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 crimes. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a license for it then you could be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.

Hillsdale Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal court 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 before the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what kind of of information is needed by law to be available.

Common Questions ABOUT the Hillsdale Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Hillsdale, New Jersey?

In New Jersey, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal jurisdiction within a city or municipality. Municipal courts thus have a small location and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty crimes and misdemeanors.

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

Depending on the scope 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 Hillsdale Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in New Jersey?

A municipal court judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until they retire. Judges are sometimes elected by the people with each precinct’s results weighted according to population. Municipal magistrates are generally not attorneys but have some legal education and must complete several hours of ongoing material every year to maintain their credentials.