Jefferson Municipal Court – Jefferson, OR

by | Oct 26, 2021

A municipal court is a court with limited area of authority over criminal offenses and civil disputes inside its area. These courts can be found at the city or county level.

Jefferson Municipal Court INformation

Court: Jefferson Municipal Court
Address: “150 North 2nd Street, PO Box 83, Jefferson, OR 97352”
Phone: 541-327-2768 ext. 302

City: Jefferson
County: Marion
State: Oregon

What is the purpose of the Jefferson Municipal Court?

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

In other situations, the purpose of a county court is to deal with a large number of civil disputes within the respective region. Most cases involve divorce or other family matters, injury cases, more serious criminal infractions, or lawsuits.

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 more expansive civil cases.

TYPES OF Legal Matters seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Jefferson, Oregon

Municipal courts are the entry level of courthouses in the United States. 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 serve their population or to save money on expenditures. The cases that will be heard by a municipal court vary depending on the municipality, but typically include traffic violations, low level criminal charges and code violations.

There is no set definition for what establishes a misdemeanor crime versus a felony case, 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 Jefferson?

Municipal courts are the entry level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic violations, 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 board to serve for a specific time.

Judges manage hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for an arrest
  • Set bail amounts and conditions of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against individuals by police officers
  • Issue search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to protect evidence from crime locations
  • start preliminary examinations to understand if there is enough evidence to mount a charge

The usual process of a Municipal Court Case

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

Step One: An Issuance of Summons

A summons from the court is given when someone has been charged with violating a city rule or state law. The citizen who has received the summons 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 anyways and could be fined up to $1000 or sentenced to jail time 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 Jefferson, OR

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 Jefferson Municipal Court. 

A violation is a crime that carries a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor can possess penalties up to $1000 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 offenses in municipal courts vary depending on the severity of an charges. 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.

Jefferson Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal government could be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one location or system. The records that an individual might need to depend on the type of matter they have in front of the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what kind of of information is needed by law to be present.

FAQs ABOUT the Jefferson Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Jefferson, Oregon?

In Oregon, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal matters within a town or municipality. Municipal courts will have a small area of influence and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty offenses and misdemeanors.

What does the municipal court handle in Jefferson, Oregon?

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 Jefferson Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Oregon?

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 chosen by the people with each precinct’s results judged based on the number of people. Municipal magistrates are often not lawyers but have some legal education and must complete many hours of ongoing courses every year to maintain their licenses.