Lincoln Municipal Court – Lincoln, RI

Oct 26, 2021

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

Lincoln Municipal Court INformation

Court: Lincoln Municipal Court
Address: “100 Old River Road, Lincoln, RI 02865”
Phone: 401-333-8453

City: Lincoln
County: Providence
State: Rhode Island

What is the role of the Lincoln Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they work with minor criminal charges, civil disputes, and traffic matters. Courthouses like Lincoln Municipal Court are the first level of court for these types of cases.

On the other hand, the role 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 breaches of contract.

County courthouses have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil actions that won’t exceed the amount of $15,000.00, while the circuits courts handle felony matters and larger civil matters.

TYPES OF Matters seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Lincoln, Rhode Island

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

There is no set definition for what constitutes a misdemeanor charge versus a felony case, 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 Lincoln?

Municipal courts are the entry 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 members to serve for a specific period of time.

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 defendants by police officers
  • Distribute search warrants to police officers in order to seize evidence from crime locations
  • start preliminary inquiries to determine if there is enough evidence to charge

The usual process of a Municipal Court matter

The common path of a municipal courthouse case can be difficult to navigate. The next portion is an overview of the steps involved in a regular municipal court case.

Step One: An Issuance of Summons

A summons is given when a person has been charged with violating a city ordinance or state law. The citizen who has received the court 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 anyways and could be fined up to $1,000.00 or given a jail term if it’s a serious enough offense.

Step Two: Appearance 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 Lincoln, RI

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

A violation is an offense that has a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor crime can carry penalties up to $1k 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 offenses 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 $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.

Lincoln Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal government could be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one area 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 type of information is required by law to be present.

Common Questions ABOUT the Lincoln Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Lincoln, Rhode Island?

In Rhode Island, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal matters within a city or municipality. Municipal courts 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 Lincoln, Rhode Island?

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 Lincoln Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Rhode Island?

A municipal courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set term of years or until they retire. Judges are commonly elected by precincts with each precinct’s results weighted according to population. Municipal judges are generally not lawyers but have some legal education and must complete several hours of continuing courses every period to maintain their licenses.