Kansas City Municipal Court – Kansas City, KS

by | Oct 26, 2021

A municipal court is a court with small jurisdiction over criminal charges and civil matters within its geographic area. These courts can be located at the city or county level.

Kansas City Municipal Court INformation

Court: Kansas City Municipal Court
Address: “City Hall 701 North 7th Street, Suite 232, Kansas City, KS 66101”
Phone: 913-573-5200

City: Kansas City
County: Wyandotte
State: Kansas

What is the purpose of the Kansas City Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they deal with minor crimes, civil cases, and traffic incidents. Courts like Kansas City Municipal Court are the first level of court for this group of matters.

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 divorce or other family matters, personal injury, more serious criminal infractions, or breaches of contract.

County courthouses have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil matters that can not exceed the amount of $15,000.00, while the circuits courts handle felony cases and larger civil matters.

TYPES OF Legal Matters adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Kansas City, Kansas

Municipal courts are the bottom rung 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 citizens or to save money on administrative costs. The matters that may be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic crimes, criminal misdemeanors and code violations.

You will not see a set definition for what constitutes a misdemeanor versus a felony charge, 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 Kansas City?

Municipal courts are the first level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic matters, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are popularly known city courts or town courts. Matters are managed by a magistrate who is usually a lawyer, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council members to help for a specific period of time.

Judges administer hearings to determine:

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

The common process of a Municipal Court matter

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

First Step: An Issuance of Summons

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

Step Two: 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 Kansas City, KS

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

A violation is an offense that has a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor charge can carry penalties up to $1,000.00 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 offenses. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a prescription for it then you will be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

Kansas City Municipal Court Records

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

Questions ABOUT the Kansas City Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Kansas City, Kansas?

In Kansas, the municipal court is a lower level with civil and criminal matters within a city or municipality. Municipal courts thus have a small location and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty charges and misdemeanor crimes.

What does the municipal court handle in Kansas City, Kansas?

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

How many judges does the Kansas City Municipal Court have?

The count 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 commonly chosen by the people with each precinct’s results weighted according to the number of people. Municipal magistrates are generally not lawyers but have some legal training and must complete several hours of ongoing education every period to maintain their licenses.