New Providence Municipal Court – New Providence, NJ

by | Oct 26, 2021

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

New Providence Municipal Court INformation

Court: New Providence Municipal Court
Address: “360 Elkwood Avenue, New Providence, NJ 07974”
Phone: 908-665-1454

City: New Providence
County: Union
State: New Jersey

What is the purpose of the New Providence Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they work with minor crimes, civil disputes, and traffic tickets. Courthouses like New Providence Municipal Court are the first level of court for these types of cases.

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

County courts have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil matters that won’t exceed the amount of $15,000.00, while the circuits courts handle felonies and bigger civil cases.

TYPES OF CASES adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in New Providence, New Jersey

Municipal courts are the lowest level of courts in the United States. They are usually found within the jurisdiction where they are located, but some places share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better assist their citizens or to save money on overhead costs. The matters that may be heard by a municipal court vary depending on the municipality, but typically include traffic matters, low level crimes and code infractions.

There is no set definition for what constitutes a misdemeanor crime versus a felony charge, 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 handled in the municipal court in New Providence?

Municipal courts are the first tier of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic crimes, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are have often been called 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 board to serve for a specific time period.

Judges administer hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for 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 locations
  • Conduct preliminary inquiries to learn if there is enough evidence to issue a charge

The common process of a Municipal Court matter

The common path of a municipal courthouse case can be difficult to navigate. The next portion is an overview of the steps involved in a typical municipal court matter.

First Step: Issuance of Summons

A summons from the court is sent when a person has been charged with violating a town ordinance or state law. The individual 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 answer for the charge(s) against them. If they don’t come, 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.

Step Two: 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 New Providence, NJ

Penalties change often, which is why it’s good to speak with licensed attorney. The material below represents common penalties, but may not be 100% accurate for the New Providence Municipal Court. 

A violation is an offense that has a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor crime can have 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 offenses in municipal courthouses vary depending on the severity of an offenses. 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.

New Providence Municipal Court Records

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

FAQs ABOUT the New Providence Municipal Court

What is municipal court in New Providence, New Jersey?

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

What does the municipal court handle in New Providence, New Jersey?

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 deal with by higher authorities.

How many judges does the New Providence Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in New Jersey?

A municipal courthouse 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 weighted according to the number of people. Municipal judges are generally not lawyers but have some legal education and must finish several hours of ongoing education every year to maintain their credentials.