Holt Municipal Division – Liberty, MO

by | Oct 26, 2021

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

Holt Municipal Division INformation

Court: Holt Municipal Division
Address: “James S. Rooney Justice Center 11 South Water Street, Liberty, MO 64068”
Phone: 816-407-3870

City: Liberty
County: Clay
State: Missouri

What is the purpose of the Holt Municipal Division?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they handle minor criminal charges, civil disputes, and traffic violations. Courts like Holt Municipal Division 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 divorce or other family matters, personal injury cases, more serious criminal infractions, or lawsuits.

County courts 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 larger civil matters.

TYPES OF CASES HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Liberty, Missouri

Municipal courts are the lowest 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 service their citizens or to save money on expenditures. The cases that could be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic crimes, low level criminal charges and code infractions.

There is no set definition for what constitutes a misdemeanor charge versus a felony, 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 Liberty?

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 handled 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 administer hearings to determine:

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

The typical process of a Municipal Court Case

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

Step One: Issuance of Summons

A court summons is issued when someone has been charged with violating a city ordinance or state law. The individual who has received the summons from the court will need to appear at their assigned time and location, 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 sentenced to jail time if it’s a serious enough offense.

Step Two: Show Up before Judge or Magistrate

If someone fails to respond after being summoned by the judge, there may be a warrant issued for the individual. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Liberty, MO

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 Holt Municipal Division. 

A violation is an offense that has a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor crime can have 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 crimes in municipal courthouses vary depending on the severity of an charges. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a prescription for it then you could be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.

Holt Municipal Division 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 a person might need to depend on the type of case they have before the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what type of information is required by law to be present.

Common Questions ABOUT the Holt Municipal Division

What is municipal court in Liberty, Missouri?

In Missouri, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal matters within a town or municipality. Municipal courts thus have a small area of influence and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty offenses and misdemeanor charges.

What does the municipal court handle in Liberty, Missouri?

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. More serious cases/crimes are deal with by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Holt Municipal Division have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Missouri?

A municipal court judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until retirement. Judges are sometimes chosen by the people with each precinct’s results weighted based on population. Municipal judges are often not lawyers but have some legal education and must complete several hours of continuing education every year to maintain their licenses.