Hugoton Municipal Court – Hugoton, KS

by | Oct 26, 2021

A municipal court is a court with small area of authority over criminal offenses and civil disputes within its area. These courts can be located at the city or county tier.

Hugoton Municipal Court INformation

Court: Hugoton Municipal Court
Address: “631 South Main Street, PO Box 788, Hugoton, KS 67951”
Phone: 620-544-8531

City: Hugoton
County: Stevens
State: Kansas

What is the purpose of the Hugoton Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they work with minor criminal charges, civil cases, and traffic incidents. Courthouses like Hugoton 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, personal injury, more serious criminal charges, or contract disputes.

County courts have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil actions that can’t exceed the amount of $15,000, while the circuits courts handle felony cases and bigger civil matters.

TYPES OF Legal Matters seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Hugoton, Kansas

Municipal courts are the bottom rung of courthouses in the U.S.. They are usually found within the jurisdiction where they are located, but some locales 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 can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic matters, low level crimes and code violations.

There is no set definition for what makes a misdemeanor versus a felony crime, 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

What’s the process for cases in the municipal court in Hugoton?

Municipal courts are the entry 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. Cases are handled by a magistrate who is usually an attorney, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council members to assist for a specific time period.

Magistrates manage hearings to determine:

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

The usual process of a Municipal Court matter

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

First Step: Issuance of Summons

A summons from the court is sent when an individual has been charged with violating a town ordinance or state law. The person who has received the court summons will need to appear at their assigned time and location, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to answer for the charge(s) against them. If they don’t appear, they may be found guilty anyways and could be fined up to $1k or sentenced to jail time if it’s a serious enough offense.

Second Step: Show Up 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 Hugoton, KS

Penalties change often, which is why it’s best to speak with licensed attorney. The information below represents common penalties, but may not be accurate for the Hugoton Municipal Court. 

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

Hugoton Municipal Court 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 a person 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 kind of of information is required by law to be present.

Common Questions ABOUT the Hugoton Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Hugoton, Kansas?

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

What does the municipal court handle in Hugoton, Kansas?

Depending on the size 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 Hugoton Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Kansas?

A municipal court judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set term of years or until they retire. Judges are sometimes chosen by precincts with each precinct’s results evaluated based on population. Municipal judges are generally not attorneys but have some legal training and must complete several hours of continuing material every year to maintain their licenses.