Liberal Municipal Court – Liberal, KS

Oct 26, 2021

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

Liberal Municipal Court INformation

Court: Liberal Municipal Court
Address: “325 North Washington Avenue, PO Box 2199, Liberal, KS 67905”
Phone: 620-626-0143

City: Liberal
County: Seward
State: Kansas

What is the role of the Liberal Municipal Court?

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

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

TYPES OF Legal Matters seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Liberal, Kansas

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 locales share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better assist their citizens 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 matters, low level crimes and code infractions.

You will not see a set definition for what establishes a misdemeanor charge 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

how are cases managed in the municipal court in Liberal?

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 period.

Judges preside over hearings to determine:

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

The Process of a Municipal Court matter

The common process of a municipal courthouse case can be complicated. The following material is an overview of the most common steps involved in a typical municipal court case.

First Step: An Issuance of Summons

A court summons is given when an individual has been charged with violating a town ordinance or state law. The citizen who has received the summons from the court will need to appear at their assigned time and courthouse, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to respond for the charge(s) against them. If they never 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: 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 Liberal, KS

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

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

Liberal Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal government could be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one location or system. The records that an individual might need to depend on the type of charge they have in front of the court, where it’s at in the process, and what type of information is needed by law to be present.

Common Questions ABOUT the Liberal Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Liberal, Kansas?

In Kansas, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal jurisdiction within a town or municipality. Municipal courts will have a small jurisdiction and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty charges and misdemeanor charges.

What does the municipal court handle in Liberal, Kansas?

Depending on the scope 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 Liberal Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Kansas?

A municipal court judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set term of years or until retirement. Judges are commonly chosen by the people with each precinct’s results weighted based on population. Municipal magistrates are often not attorneys but have some legal education and must complete several hours of continuing material every year to maintain their credentials.