Hopkinton Municipal Court – Hopkinton, RI

by | Oct 26, 2021

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

Hopkinton Municipal Court INformation

Court: Hopkinton Municipal Court
Address: “1 Town House Road, Hopkinton, RI 02833”
Phone: 401-377-7759

City: Hopkinton
County: Washington
State: Rhode Island

What is the purpose of the Hopkinton Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they handle minor crimes, civil cases, and traffic tickets. Courts like Hopkinton 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 family law matters, injury cases, more serious criminal charges, or breaches of contract.

County courthouses have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil matters that can’t exceed the amount of $15,000.00, while the circuits courts handle felonies and bigger civil matters.

TYPES OF Matters seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Hopkinton, Rhode Island

Municipal courts are the bottom rung of courts in the U.S.. They are usually found within the jurisdiction where they are located, but some jurisdictions share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better service their population or to save money on administrative costs. The matters that may be heard by a municipal court vary depending on the municipality, but typically include traffic violations, low level crimes and code violations.

You will not find a standard for what constitutes a misdemeanor charge versus a felony charge, 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 Hopkinton?

Municipal courts are the first level 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 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 assist for a specific time.

Magistrates manage hearings to determine:

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

The typical process of a Municipal Court Case

The common process of a municipal court case can be difficult to navigate. The following is an overview of the most common steps involved in a typical municipal court matter.

Step One: Issuance of Summons

A court summons is sent when an individual has been charged with violating a local ordinance or state law. The citizen who has received the summons from the court will need to be present at their assigned time and place, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to respond for the charge(s) against them. If they don’t show up, they may be found guilty in absentia 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 Hopkinton, RI

Penalties change often, which is why it’s best to speak with licensed lawyer. The material below represents common penalties, but may not be 100% accurate for the Hopkinton Municipal Court. 

A violation is a crime that carries a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor charge can have penalties up to $1k 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 charges 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 could be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.

Hopkinton Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal court could 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 in front of the court, where it’s at in the process, and what type of information is required by law to be available.

Questions ABOUT the Hopkinton Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Hopkinton, Rhode Island?

In Rhode Island, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal matters within a town or municipality. Municipal courts will have a small jurisdiction and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty charges and misdemeanors.

What does the municipal court handle in Hopkinton, Rhode Island?

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 Hopkinton Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Rhode Island?

A municipal court judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set term of years or until they retire. Judges are commonly elected by precincts with each precinct’s results judged based on the number of people. Municipal judges are often not attorneys but have some legal training and must finish many hours of continuing courses every period to maintain their credentials.