Kearney Municipal Court – Kearney, MO

by | Oct 26, 2021

A municipal court is a court with restrictive area of authority over criminal charges and civil disputes within its geographic area. These courts can be found at the county or city level.

Kearney Municipal Court INformation

Court: Kearney Municipal Court
Address: “City Hall 100 East Washington Street, Kearney, MO 64060”
Phone: 816-628-5535

City: Kearney
County: Clay
State: Missouri

What is the role of the Kearney Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they handle minor criminal charges, civil cases, and traffic matters. Courts like Kearney 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, more serious criminal infractions, or lawsuits.

County courthouses have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil matters that won’t exceed the amount of $15,000, while the circuits courts handle felony matters and more expansive civil matters.

TYPES OF affairs seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Kearney, Missouri

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 help their citizens or to save money on costs. The matters that will be heard by a municipal court vary depending on the municipality, but typically include traffic violations, small criminal charges and code infractions.

There is no set definition for what establishes 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 Kearney?

Municipal courts are the first tier 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. Cases 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 serve for a specific duration.

Magistrates administer hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for arrest
  • Set bail amounts and conditions of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against suspects by police officers
  • Issue search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to secure evidence from crime scenes
  • start preliminary inquiries to determine if there is enough evidence to charge

The common process of a Municipal Court Case

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

First Step: An Issuance of Summons

A summons from the court is issued when a person has been charged with violating a local rule or state law. The person who has received the court summons will need to show up at their assigned time and place, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to answer for the charge(s) against them. If they fail to 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.

Step Two: Appearance before Judge or Magistrate

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

Municipal Court Penalties in Kearney, MO

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 Kearney Municipal Court. 

A violation is a crime that carries a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor crime can possess 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 crimes in municipal courts vary depending on the severity of an charges. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a prescription for it then you could be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

Kearney Municipal Court Records

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

FAQs ABOUT the Kearney Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Kearney, Missouri?

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

What does the municipal court handle in Kearney, Missouri?

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 Kearney Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Missouri?

A municipal courthouse 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 magistrates are generally not lawyers but have some legal training and must finish multiple hours of continuing material every period to maintain their credentials.