Milton-Freewater Municipal Court – Milton-Freewater, OR

by | Oct 26, 2021

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

Milton-Freewater Municipal Court INformation

Court: Milton-Freewater Municipal Court
Address: “722 South Main Street, PO Box 6, Milton-Freewater, OR 97862”
Phone: 541-938-8203

City: Milton-Freewater
County: Umatilla
State: Oregon

What is the purpose of the Milton-Freewater Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they work with minor crimes, civil matters, and traffic violations. Courthouses like Milton-Freewater Municipal Court are the first level of court for these types of cases.

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

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 matters and bigger civil matters.

TYPES OF Matters HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Milton-Freewater, Oregon

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 serve their population or to save money on overhead costs. The cases that will be heard by a municipal court vary depending on the municipality, but typically include traffic crimes, criminal misdemeanors and code violations.

You will not find a standard for what makes a misdemeanor charge 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

What’s the process for cases in the municipal court in Milton-Freewater?

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 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 board to help for a specific period of time.

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 defendants by police officers
  • Distribute search warrants to police officers in order to seize evidence from crime scenes
  • start preliminary inquiries to determine if there is enough evidence to charge

The usual process of a Municipal Court matter

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

First Step: An Issuance of Summons

A summons is sent when a person has been charged with violating a city rule or state law. The individual who has received the court summons will need to appear at their assigned time and courthouse, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to answer for the charge(s) against them. If they don’t appear, they may be found guilty anyways and could be fined up to $1,000.00 or sentenced to jail time if it’s a serious enough offense.

Second Step: Appearance before Judge or Magistrate

If someone fails to show up after being summoned by the judge, there may be a warrant issued for the person. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Milton-Freewater, OR

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

A violation is an offense that has a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor can carry penalties up to $1k or one year in 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 offenses. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a license for it then you could be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.

Milton-Freewater Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal government may be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one place or system. The records that an individual might need to depend on the type of charge they have in front of the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what kind of of information is needed by law to be available.

Common Questions ABOUT the Milton-Freewater Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Milton-Freewater, Oregon?

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

What does the municipal court handle in Milton-Freewater, Oregon?

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 Milton-Freewater Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Oregon?

A municipal court judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until retirement. Judges are sometimes elected by the people with each precinct’s results judged according to population. Municipal magistrates are generally not lawyers but have some legal training and must finish many hours of ongoing material every year to maintain their licenses.