Jennings Municipal Court – Jennings, OK

by | Oct 26, 2021

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

Jennings Municipal Court INformation

Court: Jennings Municipal Court
Address: “305 North Main Street, PO Box 340, Jennings, OK 74038”
Phone: 918-757-4250

City: Jennings
County: Pawnee
State: Oklahoma

What is the purpose of the Jennings Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they handle minor criminal charges, civil matters, and traffic matters. Courts like Jennings 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, personal injury cases, more serious criminal charges, or lawsuits.

County courthouses 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 cases and more expansive civil cases.

TYPES OF CASES seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Jennings, Oklahoma

Municipal courts are the lowest level of courts in the United States. They are usually found within the jurisdiction where they are located, but some places share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better help their citizens or to save money on administrative costs. The cases that could be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic violations, criminal misdemeanors and code violations.

You will not find a standard for what constitutes a misdemeanor crime versus a felony charge, 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 Jennings?

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. Matters 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 help for a specific duration.

Magistrates preside over hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for an 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 secure evidence from crime locations
  • start preliminary inquiries to determine if there is enough evidence to charge

The common process of a Municipal Court matter

The common path of a municipal court case can be complicated. The following material is an overview of the common items involved in a typical municipal court matter.

First Step: Issuance of Summons

A court summons is issued when a person has been charged with violating a town rule or state law. The person who has received the summons from the court will need to appear at their assigned time and place, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to respond for the charge(s) against them. If they never appear, they may be found guilty anyways and could be fined up to $1,000.00 or sentenced to jail time if it’s a serious enough offense.

Second Step: Appearance before Judge or Magistrate

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

Municipal Court Penalties in Jennings, OK

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

A violation is a crime that has a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor charge can possess 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 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 $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

Jennings 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 matter they have in front of the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what type of information is required by law to be available.

Questions ABOUT the Jennings Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Jennings, Oklahoma?

In Oklahoma, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal jurisdiction within a town or municipality. Municipal courts will have a small location and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty crimes and misdemeanor crimes.

What does the municipal court handle in Jennings, Oklahoma?

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. Serious cases/crimes are deal with by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Jennings Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Oklahoma?

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 elected by precincts with each precinct’s results evaluated according to population. Municipal magistrates are often not lawyers but have some legal education and must complete several hours of continuing material every year to maintain their credentials.