Jamestown Municipal Court – Jamestown, ND

Oct 26, 2021

A municipal court is a court with limited area of authority over criminal offenses and civil matters within its location. These courts can be found at the county or city tier.

Jamestown Municipal Court INformation

Court: Jamestown Municipal Court
Address: “510 3rd Ave SE, Jamestown, ND 58401”
Phone: 701-251-2143

City: Jamestown
County: Stutsman
State: North Dakota

What is the role of the Jamestown Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they work with minor crimes, civil disputes, and traffic incidents. Courts like Jamestown Municipal Court are the first level of court for these types of cases.

On the other hand, the role of a county court is to deal with a large number of civil disputes within the respective region. Most cases involve family matters, accident cases, more serious criminal infractions, or lawsuits.

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

TYPES OF Legal Matters seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Jamestown, North Dakota

Municipal courts are the entry level 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 assist their population or to save money on expenditures. The cases that could be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic tickets, low level criminal charges and code violations.

You will not see a set definition for what constitutes a misdemeanor crime versus a felony, but generally speaking felonies would require more time in jail than misdemeanor charges 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 Jamestown?

Municipal courts are the entry level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic tickets, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are often known as 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.

Judges administer hearings to determine:

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

The typical process of a Municipal Court matter

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

Step One: An Issuance of Summons

A court summons is sent when a person has been charged with violating a city ordinance or state law. The individual who has received the summons 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 come, they may be found guilty in absentia and could be fined up to $1000 or given a jail sentence if it’s a serious enough offense.

Step Two: Appearance before Judge or Magistrate

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

Municipal Court Penalties in Jamestown, ND

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

A violation is an offense that has a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor crime can carry penalties up to $1000 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 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 will be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.

Jamestown Municipal Court 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 an individual might need to depend on the matter they have before the court, where it’s at in the process, and what type of information is required by law to be available.

FAQs ABOUT the Jamestown Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Jamestown, North Dakota?

In North Dakota, the municipal court is a lower level 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 offenses and misdemeanor charges.

What does the municipal court handle in Jamestown, North Dakota?

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 handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Jamestown Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in North Dakota?

A municipal court judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until retirement. Judges are commonly elected by precincts with each precinct’s results judged based on the number of people. Municipal judges are generally not attorneys but have some legal training and must complete multiple hours of ongoing courses every period to maintain their credentials.