Houston Lake Municipal Division – Platte City, MO

by | Oct 26, 2021

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

Houston Lake Municipal Division INformation

Court: Houston Lake Municipal Division
Address: “Platte County Courthouse 415 3rd Street, Platte City, MO 64079”
Phone: 816-858-2232

City: Platte City
County: Platte
State: Missouri

What is the role of the Houston Lake Municipal Division?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they handle minor crimes, civil matters, and traffic tickets. Courthouses like Houston Lake 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 family law matters, injury cases, more serious criminal charges, or lawsuits.

County courts 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 felony matters and larger civil cases.

TYPES OF Legal Matters seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Platte City, Missouri

Municipal courts are the lowest level of courthouses 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 expenditures. The cases that could be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic violations, criminal misdemeanors and code infractions.

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

how are cases managed in the municipal court in Platte City?

Municipal courts are the entry level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic crimes, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are have often been called city courts or town courts. Cases are managed by a magistrate who is usually an attorney, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council board to help for a specific duration.

Judges administer hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for 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 protect evidence from crime locations
  • Conduct preliminary examinations to establish if there is enough evidence to charge

The typical process of a Municipal Court matter

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

First Step: An Issuance of Summons

A court summons is given when someone has been charged with violating a town ordinance or state law. The person 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 come, they may be found guilty anyways and could be fined up to $1,000.00 or given a jail sentence if it’s a serious enough offense.

Second Step: 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 individual. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Platte City, MO

Penalties change often, which is why it’s good to speak with licensed attorney. The material below represents common penalties, but may not be accurate for the Houston Lake Municipal Division. 

A violation is an offense that has a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor can have penalties up to $1k 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.

Houston Lake Municipal Division Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal government 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 case 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 present.

Questions ABOUT the Houston Lake Municipal Division

What is municipal court in Platte City, Missouri?

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

What does the municipal court handle in Platte City, Missouri?

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. More serious cases/crimes are handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Houston Lake Municipal Division have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Missouri?

A municipal courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set term of years or until they retire. Judges are commonly elected by the people with each precinct’s results judged according to the number of people. Municipal judges are often not attorneys but have some legal education and must finish many hours of ongoing courses every year to maintain their licenses.