Magdalena Municipal Court – Magdalena, NM

Oct 26, 2021

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

Magdalena Municipal Court INformation

Court: Magdalena Municipal Court
Address: “PO Box 145, Magdalena, NM 87825”
Phone: 575-854-2603

City: Magdalena
County: Socorro
State: New Mexico

What is the purpose of the Magdalena Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they deal with minor crimes, civil cases, and traffic matters. Courts like Magdalena 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 matters, personal injury, more serious criminal infractions, or lawsuits.

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

TYPES OF affairs seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Magdalena, 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 locales share municipal courts with other municipalities.

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

You will not see a set definition for what makes a misdemeanor charge versus a felony charge, 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 Magdalena?

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. Matters 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 serve for a specific time.

Magistrates preside over 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
  • Issue search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to seize evidence from crime locations
  • start preliminary inquiries to understand if there is enough evidence to mount a charge

The Process of a Municipal Court Case

The process of a municipal courthouse case can be tricky. The following is an overview of the common items involved in a typical municipal court matter.

First Step: An Issuance of Summons

A summons is sent when an individual has been charged with violating a local ordinance or state law. The person who has received the court summons will need to be present at their assigned time and location, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to respond 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 show up after being summoned by the judge, there may be a warrant issued for the individual. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Magdalena, NM

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

A violation is a crime that has a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor can have 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 charges in municipal courts vary depending on the severity of an offenses. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a license for it then you will be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.

Magdalena Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal government could be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one location or system. The records that an individual might need to depend on the type of matter they have before the court, where it’s at in the process, and what kind of of information is needed by law to be present.

Common Questions ABOUT the Magdalena Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Magdalena, New Mexico?

In New Mexico, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal matters within a city or municipality. Municipal courts thus have a small jurisdiction and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty offenses and misdemeanors.

What does the municipal court handle in Magdalena, 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 handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Magdalena Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in New Mexico?

A municipal court judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set term of years or until they retire. Judges are commonly chosen by precincts with each precinct’s results weighted based on population. Municipal magistrates are often not lawyers but have some legal education and must complete many hours of ongoing education every year to maintain their licenses.