Lavallette Municipal Court – Lavallette, NJ

by | Oct 26, 2021

A municipal court is a court with restrictive jurisdiction over criminal offenses and civil disputes within its geographic area. These courts can be found at the county or city level.

Lavallette Municipal Court INformation

Court: Lavallette Municipal Court
Address: “Lavallette Municipal Building 1306 Grand Central Avenue, Lavallette, NJ 08735”
Phone: 732-830-1911

City: Lavallette
County: Ocean
State: New Jersey

What is the purpose of the Lavallette Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they handle minor crimes, civil disputes, and traffic violations. Courts like Lavallette Municipal Court are the first level of court for this group of matters.

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, injury cases, more serious criminal charges, or lawsuits.

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

TYPES OF Matters seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Lavallette, New Jersey

Municipal courts are the lowest level of courts 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 service their citizens or to save money on expenditures. The cases that may be heard by a municipal court vary depending on the municipality, but typically include traffic matters, low level crimes and code infractions.

You will not find a standard for what establishes a misdemeanor versus a felony, 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 Lavallette?

Municipal courts are the lowest level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic matters, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are popularly known 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 help for a specific time period.

Judges 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
  • Issue search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to secure evidence from crime locations
  • Conduct preliminary examinations to establish if there is enough evidence to mount a charge

The common process of a Municipal Court Case

The process of a municipal courthouse case can be difficult to navigate. The following is an overview of the steps involved in a regular municipal court matter.

First Step: Issuance of Summons

A summons from the court is given when someone has been charged with violating a city rule or state law. The individual 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 show up, they may be found guilty in absentia and could be fined up to $1,000.00 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 Lavallette, NJ

Penalties change often, which is why it’s good to speak with licensed lawyer near you. The information below represents common penalties, but may not be 100% accurate for the Lavallette Municipal Court. 

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

Lavallette Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal court may be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one area or system. The records that an individual 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 required by law to be present.

FAQs ABOUT the Lavallette Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Lavallette, New Jersey?

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

What does the municipal court handle in Lavallette, New Jersey?

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 deal with by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Lavallette Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in New Jersey?

A municipal court 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 weighted according to the number of people. Municipal magistrates are often not lawyers but have some legal training and must finish several hours of ongoing education every year to maintain their credentials.