A municipal court is a court with restrictive jurisdiction over criminal offenses and civil disputes inside its area. These courts can be found at the city or county tier.
La Center Municipal Court INformation
Court: La Center Municipal Court
Address: “109 SW 1st Street, Suite 272, Battle Ground, WA 98604”
City: Battle Ground
What is the purpose of the La Center Municipal Court?
Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they work with minor criminal charges, civil matters, and traffic tickets. Courts like La Center Municipal Court are the first level of court for this group of matters.
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 law matters, accident cases, more serious criminal infractions, 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 felonies and more expansive civil cases.
TYPES OF Legal Matters adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Battle Ground, Washington
Municipal courts are the entry level of courts in the United States. 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 help their people 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 crimes, criminal misdemeanors and code violations.
You will not see a set definition for what makes a misdemeanor charge versus a felony charge, 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 Battle Ground?
Magistrates administer hearings to determine:
- Probable cause for arrest
- Set bail amounts and the conditions of release
- Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against individuals by police officers
- Issue search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to secure evidence from crime locations
- start preliminary inquiries to understand if there is enough evidence to charge
The typical process of a Municipal Court Case
First Step: Issuance of Summons
Step Two: Show Up before Judge or Magistrate
Municipal Court Penalties in Battle Ground, WA
Penalties change often, which is why it’s good to speak with licensed attorney. The material below represents common penalties, but may not be accurate for the La Center Municipal Court.
A violation is an offense that carries a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor crime can have penalties up to $1,000.00 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 courthouses vary depending on the severity of an charges. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a license for it then you could be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.
La Center 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, where it’s at in the process, and what kind of of information is required by law to be available.
FAQs ABOUT the La Center Municipal Court
What is municipal court in Battle Ground, Washington?
In Washington, the municipal court is a lower level with civil and criminal jurisdiction within a town or municipality. Municipal courts will have a small jurisdiction and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty charges and misdemeanors.
What does the municipal court handle in Battle Ground, 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. More serious cases/crimes are handled by higher authorities.
How many judges does the La Center Municipal Court have?
The number 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 they retire. Judges are commonly elected by the people with each precinct’s results weighted based on the number of people. Municipal judges are often not attorneys but have some legal education and must finish many hours of ongoing education every period to maintain their credentials.