La Grande Municipal Court – La Grande, OR

by | Oct 26, 2021

A municipal court is a court with limited jurisdiction over criminal charges and civil disputes within its location. These courts can be found at the county or city level.

La Grande Municipal Court INformation

Court: La Grande Municipal Court
Address: “1000 Adams Avenue, PO Box 670, La Grande, OR 97850”
Phone: 541-962-1314

City: La Grande
County: Union
State: Oregon

What is the purpose of the La Grande Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they work with minor criminal charges, civil matters, and traffic incidents. Courthouses like La Grande 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 law matters, injury cases, more serious criminal charges, or lawsuits.

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

TYPES OF CASES adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in La Grande, Oregon

Municipal courts are the lowest level of courts 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 assist their population or to save money on expenditures. The cases that will be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic violations, criminal misdemeanors and code infractions.

There is no set definition for what constitutes a misdemeanor versus a felony case, 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 managed in the municipal court in La Grande?

Municipal courts are the first level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic crimes, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are popularly known city courts or town courts. Matters 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 assist for a specific time period.

Judges administer 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
  • Issue search warrants to police officers in order to seize 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 process of a municipal courthouse case can be complicated. The following is an overview of the most common steps involved in a regular municipal court matter.

First Step: An Issuance of Summons

A summons from the court is sent when a person has been charged with violating a local rule or state law. The individual who has received the summons will need to be present at their assigned time and courthouse, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to respond for the charge(s) against them. If they fail to appear, they may be found guilty in absentia and could be fined up to $1000 or given a jail term if it’s a serious enough offense.

Second Step: Appearance before Judge or Magistrate

If someone fails to respond after being summoned by the judge, there may be a warrant issued for the person. 

Municipal Court Penalties in La Grande, OR

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 La Grande Municipal Court. 

A violation is a crime that carries a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor crime can carry 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 offenses in municipal courts 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.

La Grande Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal government 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, what stage it is at in the process, and what kind of of information is required by law to be available.

Questions ABOUT the La Grande Municipal Court

What is municipal court in La Grande, Oregon?

In Oregon, the municipal court is a lower level with civil and criminal jurisdiction within a city or municipality. Municipal courts will 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 La Grande, Oregon?

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 La Grande Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Oregon?

A municipal court judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until they retire. Judges are sometimes chosen by the people with each precinct’s results judged according to population. Municipal judges are often not lawyers but have some legal training and must finish several hours of continuing material every year to maintain their credentials.