Martin Municipal Court – Martin, TN

by | Oct 27, 2021

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

Martin Municipal Court INformation

Court: Martin Municipal Court
Address: “101 University Street, PO Box 9, Martin, TN 38237”
Phone: 731-587-5355 ext. 239

City: Martin
County: Weakley
State: Tennessee

What is the purpose of the Martin Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they deal with minor criminal charges, civil disputes, and traffic matters. Courthouses like Martin Municipal Court are the first level of court for this group of matters.

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 family matters, personal injury cases, more serious criminal infractions, or lawsuits.

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 cases and bigger civil cases.

TYPES OF Matters HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Martin, Tennessee

Municipal courts are the entry level 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 assist 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 matters, low level criminal charges and code violations.

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

How are cases handled in the municipal court in Martin?

Municipal courts are the first tier 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 a lawyer, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council members to serve for a specific period of time.

Judges administer hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for 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 scenes
  • Conduct preliminary examinations to learn if there is enough evidence to mount a charge

The typical process of a Municipal Court matter

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

First Step: Issuance of Summons

A summons from the court is given when a person has been charged with violating a local rule or state law. The individual who has received the summons from the court will need to be present at their assigned time and place, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to answer for the charge(s) against them. If they never appear, they may be found guilty in absentia and could be fined up to $1,000.00 or sentenced to jail time 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 person. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Martin, TN

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

A violation is an offense that has a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor charge can possess 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 offenses 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.

Martin 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 an individual might need to depend on the matter they have before the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what type of information is needed by law to be available.

Common Questions ABOUT the Martin Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Martin, Tennessee?

In Tennessee, the municipal court is a lower level with civil and criminal jurisdiction within a town or municipality. Municipal courts have a small jurisdiction and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty charges and misdemeanor crimes.

What does the municipal court handle in Martin, Tennessee?

Depending on the scope 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 Martin Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Tennessee?

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 according to the number of people. Municipal magistrates are often not attorneys but have some legal education and must finish many hours of continuing education every year to maintain their licenses.