Liberal Municipal Division – Lamar, MO

by | Oct 26, 2021

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

Liberal Municipal Division INformation

Court: Liberal Municipal Division
Address: “Barton County Courthouse 1004 Gulf Street, Lamar, MO 64759”
Phone: 417-682-2444

City: Lamar
County: Barton
State: Missouri

What is the purpose of the Liberal Municipal Division?

Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they handle minor criminal charges, civil cases, and traffic tickets. Courthouses like Liberal Municipal Division 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 law matters, injury cases, more serious criminal infractions, or lawsuits.

County courthouses have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil matters that can not exceed the amount of $15k, while the circuits courts handle felonies and bigger civil matters.

TYPES OF Legal Matters adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Lamar, Missouri

Municipal courts are the lowest level of courts in the United States. 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 assist their citizens or to save money on administrative costs. The cases that could be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic matters, small criminal charges and code infractions.

There is no set definition for what constitutes a misdemeanor crime versus a felony charge, but generally speaking felonies would require more time in jail than misdemeanor crimes 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 Lamar?

Municipal courts are the first 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 an attorney, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council board to help for a specific period of time.

Judges administer hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for 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 seize evidence from crime scenes
  • start preliminary examinations to establish if there is enough evidence to charge

The common process of a Municipal Court Case

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

First Step: An Issuance of Summons

A court summons is sent when someone has been charged with violating a town rule or state law. The individual 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 answer for the charge(s) against them. If they don’t come, they may be found guilty in absentia and could be fined up to $1000 or given a jail sentence if it’s a serious enough offense.

Step Two: 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 Lamar, MO

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

A violation is an offense that carries a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor crime can possess 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 courthouses vary depending on the severity of an offenses. 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.

Liberal Municipal Division Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal government may be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one location or system. The records that a person might need to depend on the type of case 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 available.

Questions ABOUT the Liberal Municipal Division

What is municipal court in Lamar, Missouri?

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

What does the municipal court handle in Lamar, Missouri?

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 Division 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 term of years or until retirement. Judges are commonly elected by precincts with each precinct’s results weighted based on the number of people. Municipal judges are generally not attorneys but have some legal education and must complete several hours of continuing courses every year to maintain their licenses.