Kenmare Municipal Court – Kenmare, ND

by | Oct 26, 2021

A municipal court is a court with limited jurisdiction over criminal offenses and civil matters inside its location. These courts can be located at the city or county tier.

Kenmare Municipal Court INformation

Court: Kenmare Municipal Court
Address: “5 3rd St NE, PO Box 816, Kenmare, ND 58746”
Phone: 701-385-4423

City: Kenmare
County: Ward
State: North Dakota

What is the purpose of the Kenmare Municipal Court?

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

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 divorce or other family matters, personal injury, more serious criminal charges, or lawsuits.

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

TYPES OF Legal Matters adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Kenmare, 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 places share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better service their people or to save money on expenditures. The matters that will be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic matters, low level crimes and code infractions.

You will not see a set definition for what makes a misdemeanor charge versus a felony crime, 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

What’s the process for cases in the municipal court in Kenmare?

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

Magistrates administer hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for arrest
  • Set bail amounts and terms of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against defendants by police officers
  • Distribute search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to protect evidence from crime scenes
  • start preliminary examinations to establish if there is enough evidence to issue a charge

The common process of a Municipal Court Case

The common process of a municipal court case can be difficult to navigate. The next portion is an overview of the most common steps involved in a regular municipal court case.

Step One: Issuance of Summons

A summons from the court is issued when a person has been charged with violating a local ordinance or state law. The citizen who has received the summons will need to show up at their assigned time and place, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to respond for the charge(s) against them. If they fail to appear, they may be found guilty anyways and could be fined up to $1,000.00 or given a jail sentence if it’s a serious enough offense.

Step Two: Show Up 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 Kenmare, ND

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

A violation is a crime that has a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor can possess 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 charges in municipal courthouses vary depending on the severity of an crimes. 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.

Kenmare 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 charge 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 present.

Questions ABOUT the Kenmare Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Kenmare, North Dakota?

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

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

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. More serious cases/crimes are handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Kenmare Municipal Court have?

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

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 term of years or until they retire. Judges are commonly elected by the people with each precinct’s results evaluated based on population. Municipal judges are generally not attorneys but have some legal education and must finish multiple hours of continuing courses every period to maintain their credentials.