Lathrop Municipal Court – Lathrop, MO

by | Oct 26, 2021

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

Lathrop Municipal Court INformation

Court: Lathrop Municipal Court
Address: “707 Oak Street, PO Box 225, Lathrop, MO 64465”
Phone: 816-740-4251

City: Lathrop
County: Clinton
State: Missouri

What is the purpose of the Lathrop Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they deal with minor crimes, civil matters, and traffic incidents. Courts like Lathrop 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 family matters, personal injury cases, more serious criminal charges, or breaches of contract.

County courts 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 felonies and bigger civil cases.

TYPES OF CASES seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Lathrop, Missouri

Municipal courts are the entry level of courthouses in the U.S.. 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 citizens or to save money on administrative costs. The cases that could be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic matters, small criminal charges and code infractions.

You will not find a standard for what constitutes a misdemeanor charge versus a felony charge, 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

What’s the process for cases in the municipal court in Lathrop?

Municipal courts are the lowest level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic tickets, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are often known as city courts or town courts. Matters are managed 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 duration.

Magistrates preside over hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for arrest
  • Set bail amounts and terms of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against individuals by police officers
  • Distribute search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to protect evidence from crime locations
  • start preliminary inquiries to establish if there is enough evidence to mount a charge

The typical process of a Municipal Court Case

The common process of a municipal court case can be complicated. The following is an overview of the steps involved in a regular municipal court matter.

First Step: An Issuance of Summons

A summons is issued when someone has been charged with violating a local ordinance or state law. The individual who has received the summons from the court will need to be present at their assigned time and place, 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 $1k or sentenced to jail time if it’s a serious enough offense.

Step Two: Appearance before Judge or Magistrate

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

Municipal Court Penalties in Lathrop, MO

Penalties change often, which is why it’s best to speak with licensed lawyer near you. The material below represents common penalties, but may not be accurate for the Lathrop Municipal Court. 

A violation is an offense that carries a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor charge can possess 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 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 could be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

Lathrop 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 matter they have in front of the court, where it’s at in the process, and what kind of of information is needed by law to be present.

Common Questions ABOUT the Lathrop Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Lathrop, Missouri?

In Missouri, the municipal court is a lower level with civil and criminal jurisdiction within a city or municipality. Municipal courts thus have a small location and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty offenses and misdemeanors.

What does the municipal court handle in Lathrop, 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 Lathrop Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Missouri?

A municipal courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until retirement. Judges are sometimes chosen by precincts with each precinct’s results judged according to the number of people. Municipal judges are generally not lawyers but have some legal training and must complete many hours of ongoing material every year to maintain their licenses.