A municipal court is a court with restrictive area of authority over criminal charges and civil disputes within its area. These courts can be located at the city or county level.
Kent Municipal Court INformation
Court: Kent Municipal Court
Address: “1220 Central Avenue S, Kent, WA 98032”
What is the role of the Kent Municipal Court?
Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they work with minor crimes, civil cases, and traffic violations. Courts like Kent Municipal Court are the first level of court for this group of matters.
In other situations, 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, injury cases, more serious criminal infractions, or lawsuits.
County courts have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil actions that won’t exceed the amount of $15,000.00, while the circuits courts handle felony cases and bigger civil matters.
TYPES OF affairs seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Kent, Washington
Municipal courts are the bottom rung of courthouses in the U.S.. 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 service their people or to save money on costs. The cases that may be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic tickets, low level criminal charges and code infractions.
You will not see a set definition for what constitutes 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
How are cases handled in the municipal court in Kent?
Magistrates manage 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 police officers in order to seize evidence from crime scenes
- Conduct preliminary inquiries to determine if there is enough evidence to charge
The common process of a Municipal Court matter
Step One: Issuance of Summons
Second Step: Appearance before Judge or Magistrate
Municipal Court Penalties in Kent, WA
Penalties change often, which is why it’s best to speak with licensed attorney. The information below represents common penalties, but may not be 100% accurate for the Kent Municipal Court.
A violation is an offense that carries a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor can carry 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 offenses in municipal courts vary depending on the severity of an crimes. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a medical prescription for it then you could be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.
Kent Municipal Court Records
Municipal Court records from a municipal government may be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one area or system. The records that a person might need to depend on the type of case they have before the court, where it’s at in the process, and what kind of of information is needed by law to be available.
FAQs ABOUT the Kent Municipal Court
What is municipal court in Kent, Washington?
In Washington, the municipal court is a lower level with civil and criminal jurisdiction within a city or municipality. Municipal courts have a small location and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty charges and misdemeanor charges.
What does the municipal court handle in Kent, Washington?
Depending on the scope 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 handled by higher authorities.
How many judges does the Kent Municipal Court have?
The count of judges depends on the municipality’s size.
How are cases heard in municipal courts in Washington?
A municipal courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set term of years or until retirement. Judges are commonly elected by the people with each precinct’s results evaluated according to population. Municipal judges are often not lawyers but have some legal education and must complete several hours of ongoing material every period to maintain their credentials.