New Hampton Municipal Division – Bethany, MO

by | Oct 26, 2021

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

New Hampton Municipal Division INformation

Court: New Hampton Municipal Division
Address: “Harrison County Courthouse 1500 Central Street, PO Box 189, Bethany, MO 64424”
Phone: 660-425-6425

City: Bethany
County: Harrison
State: Missouri

What is the role of the New Hampton Municipal Division?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they work with minor crimes, civil matters, and traffic incidents. Courthouses like New Hampton 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 divorce or other family matters, personal injury cases, more serious criminal infractions, or breaches of contract.

County courts 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 larger civil cases.

TYPES OF affairs adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Bethany, 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 help their people or to save money on overhead costs. The cases that will be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic violations, small criminal charges and code infractions.

You will not find a standard for what makes 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 Bethany?

Municipal courts are the first level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic crimes, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are often known as city courts or town courts. Matters are managed by a magistrate who is usually an attorney, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council members to serve for a specific time.

Magistrates preside over hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for arrest
  • Set bail amounts and terms of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against individuals by police officers
  • Issue search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to protect evidence from crime locations
  • start preliminary examinations to determine if there is enough evidence to issue a charge

The common process of a Municipal Court matter

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

First Step: An Issuance of Summons

A summons from the court is given when a person has been charged with violating a town ordinance or state law. The citizen who has received the summons from the court will need to be present at their assigned time and courthouse, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to respond for the charge(s) against them. If they never appear, they may be found guilty in absentia and could be fined up to $1000 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 individual. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Bethany, MO

Penalties change often, which is why it’s good to speak with licensed attorney. The material below represents common penalties, but may not be accurate for the New Hampton Municipal Division. 

A violation is an offense that has a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor crime can carry penalties up to $1000 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 crimes 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.

New Hampton Municipal Division Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal court 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 case 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 New Hampton Municipal Division

What is municipal court in Bethany, Missouri?

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

What does the municipal court handle in Bethany, 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. Serious cases/crimes are handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the New Hampton Municipal Division have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Missouri?

A municipal courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until retirement. Judges are sometimes chosen by precincts with each precinct’s results weighted based on the number of people. Municipal judges are generally not lawyers but have some legal education and must complete several hours of continuing courses every year to maintain their credentials.