Meriden Municipal Court – Meriden, KS

by | Oct 26, 2021

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

Meriden Municipal Court INformation

Court: Meriden Municipal Court
Address: “103 East Main Street, PO Box 262, Meriden, KS 66512”
Phone: 785-484-3450

City: Meriden
County: Jefferson
State: Kansas

What is the purpose of the Meriden Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they handle minor crimes, civil disputes, and traffic incidents. Courts like Meriden Municipal Court are the first level of court for these types of cases.

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 divorce or other family matters, personal injury, more serious criminal charges, or breaches of contract.

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 cases and more expansive civil cases.

TYPES OF Matters HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Meriden, Kansas

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 people or to save money on costs. The cases that may be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic tickets, low level criminal charges and code violations.

You will not find a standard for what makes a misdemeanor 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 Meriden?

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

Magistrates preside over hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for an 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 scenes
  • start preliminary examinations to determine if there is enough evidence to charge

The Process of a Municipal Court matter

The process 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: An Issuance of Summons

A summons is sent when a person has been charged with violating a local ordinance or state law. The individual who has received the court summons will need to show up at their assigned time and courthouse, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to answer for the charge(s) against them. If they don’t come, they may be found guilty anyways and could be fined up to $1k or sentenced to jail time if it’s a serious enough offense.

Second Step: Appearance 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 Meriden, KS

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 100% accurate for the Meriden Municipal Court. 

A violation is a crime that carries 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 offenses in municipal courthouses vary depending on the severity of an offenses. 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.

Meriden 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 a person might need to depend on the matter they have in front of 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 Meriden Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Meriden, Kansas?

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

What does the municipal court handle in Meriden, Kansas?

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. More serious cases/crimes are deal with by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Meriden Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Kansas?

A municipal courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until they retire. Judges are sometimes elected by precincts with each precinct’s results judged according to the number of people. Municipal judges are generally not attorneys but have some legal training and must finish multiple hours of continuing courses every period to maintain their licenses.