Laurel Municipal Court – Laurel, MS

by | Oct 26, 2021

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

Laurel Municipal Court INformation

Court: Laurel Municipal Court
Address: “317 S Magnolia St, Laurel, MS 39440”
Phone: 601-428-6517

City: Laurel
County: Jones
State: Mississippi

What is the role of the Laurel Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they deal with minor crimes, civil cases, and traffic violations. Courthouses like Laurel 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, personal injury, more serious criminal charges, or lawsuits.

County courthouses have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil actions that can’t exceed the amount of $15,000, while the circuits courts handle felonies and larger civil matters.

TYPES OF CASES seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Laurel, Mississippi

Municipal courts are the entry level of courthouses in the United States. They are usually found within the jurisdiction where they are located, but some locales share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better service their population or to save money on expenditures. The matters that could be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic tickets, low level criminal charges and code violations.

You will not see a set definition for what constitutes a misdemeanor versus a felony case, 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

what is the procedure for cases in the municipal court in Laurel?

Municipal courts are the entry level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic crimes, 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 an attorney, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council members to help for a specific duration.

Judges manage hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for arrest
  • Set bail amounts and the conditions of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against suspects by police officers
  • Issue search warrants to police officers in order to protect evidence from crime locations
  • Conduct preliminary inquiries to establish if there is enough evidence to issue a charge

The Process of a Municipal Court Case

The common path of a municipal courthouse 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 sent when someone has been charged with violating a local rule or state law. The person who has received the summons will need to show up at their assigned time and courthouse, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to answer for the charge(s) against them. If they don’t appear, they may be found guilty in absentia and could be fined up to $1,000.00 or given a jail term if it’s a serious enough offense.

Second Step: Show Up 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 Laurel, MS

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

A violation is an offense that carries a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor crime can possess penalties up to $1000 or one year in 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 courts vary depending on the severity of an charges. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a prescription for it then you could be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.

Laurel Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal court may 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 charge they have in front of the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what type of information is required by law to be available.

Questions ABOUT the Laurel Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Laurel, Mississippi?

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

What does the municipal court handle in Laurel, Mississippi?

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 deal with by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Laurel Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Mississippi?

A municipal court judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set term of years or until retirement. Judges are sometimes elected by the people with each precinct’s results judged based on population. Municipal judges are generally not attorneys but have some legal education and must complete multiple hours of ongoing courses every year to maintain their licenses.