Matewan Municipal Court – Matewan, WV

by | Oct 28, 2021

A municipal court is a court with limited jurisdiction over criminal charges and civil matters inside its location. These courts can be located at the county or city tier.

Matewan Municipal Court INformation

Court: Matewan Municipal Court
Address: “20 McCoy Alley, PO Box 306, Matewan, WV 25678”
Phone: 304-426-4092

City: Matewan
County: Mingo
State: West Virginia

What is the purpose of the Matewan Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they handle minor crimes, civil matters, and traffic incidents. Courthouses like Matewan Municipal Court are the first level of court for this group of matters.

In other situations, 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 cases, more serious criminal infractions, or contract disputes.

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

TYPES OF Legal Matters HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Matewan, West Virginia

Municipal courts are the bottom rung 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 assist their citizens or to save money on costs. The matters that may be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic violations, criminal misdemeanors and code infractions.

You will not see a set definition for what establishes a misdemeanor charge versus a felony, 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 managed in the municipal court in Matewan?

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. Cases are handled by a magistrate who is usually a lawyer, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council members to help for a specific duration.

Judges administer hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for an arrest
  • Set bail amounts and conditions 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
  • start preliminary inquiries to establish if there is enough evidence to mount a charge

The typical process of a Municipal Court Case

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

First Step: Issuance of Summons

A court summons is sent when someone has been charged with violating a city rule or state law. The citizen who has received the summons from the court will need to be present at their assigned time and courthouse, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to respond for the charge(s) against them. If they don’t 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 individual. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Matewan, WV

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

A violation is an offense that has a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor charge can have penalties up to $1k 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 courts 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 $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.

Matewan 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, what stage it is at in the process, and what type of information is required by law to be available.

Questions ABOUT the Matewan Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Matewan, West Virginia?

In West Virginia, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal jurisdiction within a city or municipality. Municipal courts thus have a small location and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty charges and misdemeanor crimes.

What does the municipal court handle in Matewan, West Virginia?

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 Matewan Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in West Virginia?

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 evaluated based on the number of people. Municipal magistrates are often not attorneys but have some legal education and must complete multiple hours of ongoing material every year to maintain their credentials.