Los Ranchos Municipal Court – Los Ranchos, NM

Oct 26, 2021

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

Los Ranchos Municipal Court INformation

Court: Los Ranchos Municipal Court
Address: “6718 Rio Grande Blvd NW, Los Ranchos, NM 87107”
Phone: 505-344-6582

City: Los Ranchos
County: Bernalillo
State: New Mexico

What is the role of the Los Ranchos Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they deal with minor crimes, civil cases, and traffic incidents. Courthouses like Los Ranchos Municipal Court are the first level of court for this group of matters.

In other situations, the role of a county court is to deal with a large number of civil disputes within the respective region. Most cases involve family law matters, accident cases, more serious criminal infractions, or lawsuits.

County courthouses have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil actions that can not exceed the amount of $15,000, while the circuits courts handle felonies and more expansive civil matters.

TYPES OF affairs seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Los Ranchos, New Mexico

Municipal courts are the bottom rung of courthouses 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 service their people or to save money on costs. The cases that could be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic tickets, low level crimes and code infractions.

You will not find a standard for what establishes a misdemeanor charge 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

How are cases handled in the municipal court in Los Ranchos?

Municipal courts are the first tier of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic crimes, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are have often been called city courts or town courts. Matters are handled 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.

Judges administer hearings to determine:

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

The Process of a Municipal Court matter

The process of a municipal court case can be tricky. The next portion 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 sent when a person has been charged with violating a town rule or state law. The individual who has received the summons will need to appear at their assigned time and location, 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 sentenced to jail time if it’s a serious enough offense.

Second Step: 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 individual. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Los Ranchos, NM

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

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

Los Ranchos 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 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.

FAQs ABOUT the Los Ranchos Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Los Ranchos, New Mexico?

In New Mexico, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal matters 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 Los Ranchos, New Mexico?

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 deal with by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Los Ranchos Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in New Mexico?

A municipal courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until retirement. Judges are commonly chosen by precincts with each precinct’s results judged according to population. Municipal judges are often not attorneys but have some legal training and must finish many hours of continuing courses every period to maintain their credentials.