Missouri City Municipal Division – Liberty, MO

by | Oct 26, 2021

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

Missouri City Municipal Division INformation

Court: Missouri City Municipal Division
Address: “James S. Rooney Justice Center 11 South Water Street, Liberty, MO 64068”
Phone: 816-407-3870

City: Liberty
County: Clay
State: Missouri

What is the role of the Missouri City Municipal Division?

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

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 family matters, accident cases, more serious criminal infractions, or breaches of contract.

County courthouses have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil actions that can not exceed the amount of $15,000, while the circuits courts handle felonies and larger civil matters.

TYPES OF affairs adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Liberty, Missouri

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

You will not find a standard for what establishes a misdemeanor charge versus a felony, 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

what is the procedure for cases in the municipal court in Liberty?

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 popularly known city courts or town courts. Matters 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 help for a specific time period.

Judges manage hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for an arrest
  • Set bail amounts and conditions of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against defendants by police officers
  • Issue search warrants to police officers in order to seize evidence from crime scenes
  • start preliminary examinations to learn if there is enough evidence to issue a charge

The Process of a Municipal Court Case

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

First Step: Issuance of Summons

A court summons is sent when an individual has been charged with violating a town ordinance or state law. The individual who has received the court summons will need to appear at their assigned time and location, 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 $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 person. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Liberty, MO

Penalties change often, which is why it’s best to speak with licensed attorney. The information below represents common penalties, but may not be 100% accurate for the Missouri City Municipal Division. 

A violation is a crime that carries 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 courts 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.

Missouri City Municipal Division Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal court may 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, where it’s at in the process, and what type of information is required by law to be available.

FAQs ABOUT the Missouri City Municipal Division

What is municipal court in Liberty, Missouri?

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

What does the municipal court handle in Liberty, Missouri?

Depending on the area 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 handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Missouri City Municipal Division have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Missouri?

A municipal court judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set term of years or until retirement. Judges are sometimes chosen by the people with each precinct’s results evaluated based on the number of people. Municipal judges are often not lawyers but have some legal training and must finish many hours of continuing education every period to maintain their licenses.