Little Falls Municipal Court – Little Falls, NJ

by | Oct 26, 2021

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

Little Falls Municipal Court INformation

Court: Little Falls Municipal Court
Address: “225 Main Street, Little Falls, NJ 07424”
Phone: 973-256-2400

City: Little Falls
County: Passaic
State: New Jersey

What is the role of the Little Falls Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they deal with minor criminal charges, civil matters, and traffic incidents. Courthouses like Little Falls 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 family law matters, personal injury, 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 felonies and more expansive civil cases.

TYPES OF Legal Matters seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Little Falls, New Jersey

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 jurisdictions share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better help their citizens or to save money on administrative costs. The matters that could be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic crimes, criminal misdemeanors and code infractions.

You will not find a standard for what constitutes a misdemeanor versus a felony crime, 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

What’s the process for cases in the municipal court in Little Falls?

Municipal courts are the first tier of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic violations, 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 a lawyer, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council board to assist for a specific duration.

Magistrates administer hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for an arrest
  • Set bail amounts and conditions of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against defendants by police officers
  • Distribute search warrants to police officers in order to protect evidence from crime locations
  • start preliminary examinations to learn if there is enough evidence to mount a charge

The typical process of a Municipal Court Case

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

Step One: An Issuance of Summons

A summons is given when a person has been charged with violating a town ordinance or state law. The person who has received the summons from the court will need to show up at their assigned time and location, 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 $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 individual. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Little Falls, 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 accurate for the Little Falls Municipal Court. 

A violation is an offense that has a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor charge can have 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 offenses in municipal courthouses vary depending on the severity of an charges. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a prescription for it then you will be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

Little Falls 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 in front of the court, where it’s at in the process, and what type of information is needed by law to be available.

Common Questions ABOUT the Little Falls Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Little Falls, New Jersey?

In New Jersey, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal matters within a town or municipality. Municipal courts thus have a small location and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty crimes and misdemeanor crimes.

What does the municipal court handle in Little Falls, New Jersey?

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. Serious cases/crimes are handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Little Falls Municipal Court have?

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

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 they retire. Judges are sometimes elected by the people with each precinct’s results evaluated based on population. Municipal magistrates are often not lawyers but have some legal training and must complete multiple hours of continuing courses every year to maintain their licenses.