Oakville Municipal Court – Oakville, WA

Oct 28, 2021

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

Oakville Municipal Court INformation

Court: Oakville Municipal Court
Address: “204 E Main Street, PO Box D, Oakville, WA 98568”
Phone: 360-273-5531

City: Oakville
County: Grays Harbor
State: Washington

What is the purpose of the Oakville Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they work with minor criminal charges, civil disputes, and traffic incidents. Courts like Oakville 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 family matters, personal injury, more serious criminal charges, or lawsuits.

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 felony matters and larger civil matters.

TYPES OF CASES HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Oakville, Washington

Municipal courts are the entry level of courthouses in the United States. 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 people or to save money on costs. The cases that could be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic tickets, low level crimes and code violations.

You will not find a standard for what establishes a misdemeanor crime 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 Oakville?

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 popularly known 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 serve for a specific duration.

Judges administer hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for arrest
  • Set bail amounts and conditions of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against defendants by police officers
  • Distribute search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to seize evidence from crime locations
  • Conduct preliminary inquiries to learn if there is enough evidence to mount a charge

The usual process of a Municipal Court matter

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

Step One: Issuance of Summons

A summons from the court is given when someone has been charged with violating a local rule or state law. The citizen who has received the summons from the court will need to appear 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 $1k 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 Oakville, WA

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

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

Oakville Municipal Court 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 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 Oakville Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Oakville, Washington?

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

What does the municipal court handle in Oakville, Washington?

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. Serious cases/crimes are handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Oakville Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Washington?

A municipal court judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set term of years or until retirement. Judges are commonly chosen by precincts with each precinct’s results judged according to population. Municipal magistrates are often not attorneys but have some legal training and must complete many hours of continuing courses every year to maintain their licenses.