LaGrange Municipal Court – LaGrange, MO

by | Oct 26, 2021

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

LaGrange Municipal Court INformation

Court: LaGrange Municipal Court
Address: “118 South Main Street, LaGrange, MO 63448”
Phone: 573-655-4301

City: LaGrange
County: Lewis
State: Missouri

What is the role of the LaGrange Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they work with minor crimes, civil disputes, and traffic violations. Courts like LaGrange 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, accident cases, more serious criminal infractions, or breaches of contract.

County courthouses have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil actions that can not exceed the amount of $15,000, while the circuits courts handle felonies and bigger civil cases.

TYPES OF Matters seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in LaGrange, Missouri

Municipal courts are the bottom rung 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 cases that could be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic violations, low level criminal charges and code violations.

There is no set definition for what constitutes a misdemeanor charge versus a felony crime, 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 handled in the municipal court in LaGrange?

Municipal courts are the first level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic violations, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are popularly known city courts or town courts. Cases are handled by a magistrate who is usually an attorney, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council members to serve for a specific time.

Judges preside over 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 scenes
  • Conduct preliminary inquiries to establish if there is enough evidence to issue a charge

The typical 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 common items involved in a typical municipal court matter.

Step One: Issuance of Summons

A summons from the court is sent when an individual has been charged with violating a town ordinance or state law. The individual who has received the summons from the court will need to show up at their assigned time and location, 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 $1000 or sentenced to jail time if it’s a serious enough offense.

Second Step: Show Up 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 LaGrange, MO

Penalties change often, which is why it’s good to speak with licensed attorney near you. The information below represents common penalties, but may not be accurate for the LaGrange Municipal Court. 

A violation is a crime that carries a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor charge can possess 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 charges in municipal courthouses vary depending on the severity of an crimes. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a license for it then you will be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.

LaGrange 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 a person 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 present.

FAQs ABOUT the LaGrange Municipal Court

What is municipal court in LaGrange, Missouri?

In Missouri, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal matters within a city or municipality. Municipal courts have a small area of influence and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty offenses and misdemeanor crimes.

What does the municipal court handle in LaGrange, 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. Serious cases/crimes are handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the LaGrange Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Missouri?

A municipal court judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set term of years or until they retire. Judges are sometimes chosen by precincts with each precinct’s results evaluated according to the number of people. Municipal magistrates are generally not attorneys but have some legal training and must finish many hours of continuing courses every year to maintain their licenses.