Mentor Municipal Court – Mentor, OH

by | Oct 26, 2021

A municipal court is a court with small jurisdiction over criminal offenses and civil disputes within its geographic area. These courts can be found at the city or county tier.

Mentor Municipal Court INformation

Court: Mentor Municipal Court
Address: “8500 Civic Center Blvd, Mentor, OH 44060”
Phone: 440-974-5744

City: Mentor
County: Lake
State: Ohio

What is the purpose of the Mentor Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they handle minor criminal charges, civil disputes, and traffic tickets. Courts like Mentor 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, accident cases, more serious criminal infractions, or lawsuits.

County courts have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil actions that won’t exceed the amount of $15,000, while the circuits courts handle felonies and bigger civil matters.

TYPES OF Matters seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Mentor, Ohio

Municipal courts are the entry level of courts 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 service their population or to save money on costs. The matters that will be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic matters, criminal misdemeanors and code violations.

There is no set definition for what establishes 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

How are cases handled in the municipal court in Mentor?

Municipal courts are the lowest level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic matters, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are often known as 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.

Judges preside over hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for an arrest
  • Set bail amounts and the 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 protect evidence from crime locations
  • start preliminary examinations to understand if there is enough evidence to issue a charge

The Process of a Municipal Court Case

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

Step One: An Issuance of Summons

A court summons is given when a person has been charged with violating a city rule or state law. The individual who has received the 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 appear, they may be found guilty in absentia and could be fined up to $1000 or given a jail term if it’s a serious enough offense.

Step Two: 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 Mentor, OH

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

A violation is a crime that has a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor crime 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 charges in municipal courthouses vary depending on the severity of an crimes. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a medical prescription for it then you could be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.

Mentor Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal court may 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 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 present.

Questions ABOUT the Mentor Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Mentor, Ohio?

In Ohio, the municipal court is a lower court 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 crimes and misdemeanor charges.

What does the municipal court handle in Mentor, Ohio?

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 Mentor Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Ohio?

A municipal courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until retirement. 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 training and must complete multiple hours of ongoing education every period to maintain their credentials.