Kennett Municipal Court – Kennett, MO

by | Oct 26, 2021

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

Kennett Municipal Court INformation

Court: Kennett Municipal Court
Address: “200 Cedar Street, Kennett, MO 63857”
Phone: 573-888-6340

City: Kennett
County: Dunklin
State: Missouri

What is the role of the Kennett Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they work with minor crimes, civil disputes, and traffic violations. Courts like Kennett 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 family matters, personal injury cases, more serious criminal charges, or lawsuits.

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

TYPES OF CASES seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Kennett, Missouri

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 assist their people or to save money on expenditures. The matters that may be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic crimes, low level criminal charges and code infractions.

You will not find a standard for what makes a misdemeanor crime versus a felony case, 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 is the procedure for cases in the municipal court in Kennett?

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 board to assist for a specific time period.

Judges preside over hearings to determine:

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

The Process of a Municipal Court Case

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

First Step: Issuance of Summons

A court summons is given when an individual has been charged with violating a local rule or state law. The individual who has received the summons will need to show up at their assigned time and courthouse, 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 $1,000.00 or given a jail term if it’s a serious enough offense.

Second Step: 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 person. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Kennett, MO

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

A violation is an offense that has a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor charge can have 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 will be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.

Kennett 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 an individual might need to depend on the type of case they have in front of the court, where it’s at in the process, and what type of information is needed by law to be available.

Common Questions ABOUT the Kennett Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Kennett, Missouri?

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

What does the municipal court handle in Kennett, Missouri?

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 Kennett Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Missouri?

A municipal court judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until retirement. Judges are commonly chosen by the people with each precinct’s results weighted based on the number of people. Municipal judges are generally not lawyers but have some legal education and must complete several hours of ongoing material every period to maintain their credentials.