Little Ferry Municipal Court – Little Ferry, NJ

by | Oct 26, 2021

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

Little Ferry Municipal Court INformation

Court: Little Ferry Municipal Court
Address: “215-217 Liberty Street, Little Ferry, NJ 07643”
Phone: 201-641-9234 ext. 652

City: Little Ferry
County: Bergen
State: New Jersey

What is the role of the Little Ferry Municipal Court?

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

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 cases, more serious criminal charges, or lawsuits.

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

TYPES OF CASES seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Little Ferry, New Jersey

Municipal courts are the lowest level of courthouses in the U.S.. 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 assist their people or to save money on expenditures. The cases that will be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic matters, criminal misdemeanors and code violations.

You will not see a set definition for what constitutes a misdemeanor versus a felony crime, 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

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

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 board to assist for a specific duration.

Magistrates manage hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for arrest
  • Set bail amounts and conditions of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against suspects by police officers
  • Issue search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to protect evidence from crime scenes
  • Conduct preliminary inquiries to determine if there is enough evidence to issue a charge

The common process of a Municipal Court matter

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

First Step: Issuance of Summons

A summons is given when an individual has been charged with violating a town ordinance or state law. The individual who has received the summons will need to be present at their assigned time and courthouse, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to answer for the charge(s) against them. If they fail to appear, 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 respond after being summoned by the judge, there may be a warrant issued for the person. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Little Ferry, NJ

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

A violation is an offense that carries a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor 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 crimes in municipal courthouses vary depending on the severity of an crimes. 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.

Little Ferry Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal court could be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one place or system. The records that a person might need to depend on the type of charge they have before the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what kind of of information is required by law to be available.

FAQs ABOUT the Little Ferry Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Little Ferry, 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 Little Ferry, 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 Little Ferry 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 commonly elected by the people with each precinct’s results judged based on the number of people. Municipal judges are often not lawyers but have some legal education and must finish multiple hours of continuing education every year to maintain their credentials.