Mt. Vernon Municipal Court – Mt. Vernon, MO

Oct 26, 2021

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

Mt. Vernon Municipal Court INformation

Court: Mt. Vernon Municipal Court
Address: “City Hall 319 East Dallas Street, PO Box 70, Mt. Vernon, MO 65712”
Phone: 417-466-2122

City: Mt. Vernon
County: Lawrence
State: Missouri

What is the purpose of the Mt. Vernon Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they deal with minor criminal charges, civil disputes, and traffic matters. Courthouses like Mt. Vernon 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 divorce or other family matters, injury cases, more serious criminal charges, or contract disputes.

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 felony matters and bigger civil matters.

TYPES OF Matters adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Mt. Vernon, 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 locales share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better service their people or to save money on expenditures. The matters that will be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic tickets, low level crimes and code infractions.

You will not see a set definition for what establishes a misdemeanor charge versus a felony case, 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 Mt. Vernon?

Municipal courts are the lowest level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic tickets, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are often known as 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 board to help for a specific time.

Judges administer 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
  • Distribute search warrants to police officers in order to protect evidence from crime scenes
  • start preliminary inquiries to learn if there is enough evidence to charge

The typical process of a Municipal Court matter

The process of a municipal courthouse case can be difficult to navigate. The following is an overview of the common items involved in a typical municipal court case.

Step One: Issuance of Summons

A summons from the court is issued when a person has been charged with violating a city ordinance or state law. The citizen who has received the summons from the court will need to be present at their assigned time and location, 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 given a jail term 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 individual. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Mt. Vernon, MO

Penalties change often, which is why it’s best to speak with licensed lawyer near you. The information below represents common penalties, but may not be 100% accurate for the Mt. Vernon Municipal Court. 

A violation is a crime that carries a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor crime can carry penalties up to $1,000.00 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 charges in municipal courts vary depending on the severity of an crimes. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a prescription for it then you could be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

Mt. Vernon Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal court could 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 kind of of information is needed by law to be present.

FAQs ABOUT the Mt. Vernon Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Mt. Vernon, Missouri?

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

What does the municipal court handle in Mt. Vernon, Missouri?

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 Mt. Vernon Municipal Court have?

The count 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 duration or until retirement. Judges are commonly chosen by the people with each precinct’s results evaluated according to the number of people. Municipal magistrates are often not attorneys but have some legal training and must complete many hours of continuing material every period to maintain their licenses.