A municipal court is a court with small area of authority over criminal charges and civil matters inside its location. These courts can be found at the county or city level.
Houstonia Municipal Division INformation
Court: Houstonia Municipal Division
Address: “Pettis County Courthouse 415 South Ohio, Sedalia, MO 65301”
What is the purpose of the Houstonia Municipal Division?
Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they handle minor crimes, civil disputes, and traffic incidents. Courts like Houstonia Municipal Division 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, personal injury, more serious criminal infractions, or contract disputes.
County courts have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil matters that can not exceed the amount of $15,000, while the circuits courts handle felony matters and larger civil matters.
TYPES OF Legal Matters HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Sedalia, 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 help their population or to save money on expenditures. The matters that may be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic matters, low level criminal charges and code violations.
There is no set definition for what makes a misdemeanor versus a felony charge, but generally speaking felonies would require more time in jail than misdemeanor crimes and fines may also be higher for felonies. Traffic violations usually result in points against your driver’s license as well
How are cases handled in the municipal court in Sedalia?
Magistrates 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
- Distribute search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to seize evidence from crime scenes
- Conduct preliminary inquiries to determine if there is enough evidence to mount a charge
The typical process of a Municipal Court matter
Step One: An Issuance of Summons
Second Step: Appearance before Judge or Magistrate
Municipal Court Penalties in Sedalia, MO
Penalties change often, which is why it’s best to speak with licensed attorney. The material below represents common penalties, but may not be 100% accurate for the Houstonia Municipal Division.
A violation is an offense that has a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor crime can possess 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 crimes in municipal courts vary depending on the severity of an crimes. 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.
Houstonia Municipal Division 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 charge 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.
FAQs ABOUT the Houstonia Municipal Division
What is municipal court in Sedalia, Missouri?
In Missouri, the municipal court is a lower level with civil and criminal matters within a city 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 Sedalia, 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 Houstonia Municipal Division have?
The number of judges depends on the municipality’s size.
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 sometimes chosen by the people with each precinct’s results evaluated based on the number of people. Municipal judges are often not lawyers but have some legal training and must finish multiple hours of ongoing courses every year to maintain their licenses.