Lake Oswego Municipal Court – Lake Oswego, OR

Oct 26, 2021

A municipal court is a court with small jurisdiction over criminal charges and civil disputes inside its location. These courts can be located at the city or county tier.

Lake Oswego Municipal Court INformation

Court: Lake Oswego Municipal Court
Address: “Lake Oswego City Hall 380 A Avenue, PO Box 369, Lake Oswego, OR 97034”
Phone: 503-635-0217

City: Lake Oswego
County: Clackamas
State: Oregon

What is the role of the Lake Oswego Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they deal with minor criminal charges, civil matters, and traffic matters. Courthouses like Lake Oswego Municipal Court are the first level of court for these types of cases.

On the other hand, the purpose 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, accident cases, more serious criminal charges, or breaches of contract.

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

TYPES OF CASES seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Lake Oswego, Oregon

Municipal courts are the lowest level of courthouses 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 help their population or to save money on administrative costs. The matters that will be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic violations, low level crimes and code violations.

You will not find a standard for what makes a misdemeanor crime 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 managed in the municipal court in Lake Oswego?

Municipal courts are the entry level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic matters, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are have often been called 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 serve for a specific time.

Magistrates manage hearings to determine:

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

The Process of a Municipal Court matter

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: An Issuance of Summons

A summons is given when someone has been charged with violating a town ordinance or state law. The person who has received the summons from the court 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 appear, they may be found guilty anyways and could be fined up to $1k or sentenced to jail time 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 individual. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Lake Oswego, OR

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

A violation is an offense that carries a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor charge can possess penalties up to $1k 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 courthouses vary depending on the severity of an offenses. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a license for it then you could be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.

Lake Oswego Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal government could 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 Lake Oswego Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Lake Oswego, Oregon?

In Oregon, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal jurisdiction within a city or municipality. Municipal courts thus have a small jurisdiction and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty crimes and misdemeanor crimes.

What does the municipal court handle in Lake Oswego, 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. More serious cases/crimes are handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Lake Oswego Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Oregon?

A municipal court judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set term of years or until they retire. Judges are commonly chosen by the people with each precinct’s results evaluated based on the number of people. Municipal judges are often not lawyers but have some legal education and must finish many hours of ongoing education every period to maintain their credentials.