Oberlin Municipal Court – Oberlin, OH

Oct 26, 2021

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

Oberlin Municipal Court INformation

Court: Oberlin Municipal Court
Address: “85 S Main St, Oberlin, OH 44074”
Phone: 440-775-1751

City: Oberlin
County: Lorain
State: Ohio

What is the role of the Oberlin Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they deal with minor crimes, civil matters, and traffic tickets. Courthouses like Oberlin 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 law matters, accident cases, more serious criminal infractions, or contract disputes.

County courthouses have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil actions that can’t exceed the amount of $15k, while the circuits courts handle felonies and bigger civil cases.

TYPES OF CASES seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Oberlin, Ohio

Municipal courts are the lowest 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 assist 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 crimes, criminal misdemeanors and code violations.

You will not find a standard for what constitutes a misdemeanor versus a felony crime, 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

How are cases handled in the municipal court in Oberlin?

Municipal courts are the first level 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. Cases are handled 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 period of time.

Judges manage hearings to determine:

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

The usual process of a Municipal Court Case

The process of a municipal courthouse case can be complicated. The next portion is an overview of the steps involved in a regular municipal court matter.

First Step: Issuance of Summons

A summons from the court is sent when someone has been charged with violating a town rule or state law. The person who has received the summons 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 come, they may be found guilty in absentia and could be fined up to $1,000.00 or given a jail term if it’s a serious enough offense.

Step Two: Appearance before Judge or Magistrate

If someone fails to respond after being summoned by the judge, there may be a warrant issued for the person. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Oberlin, OH

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

A violation is an offense that carries a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor charge can have penalties up to $1000 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 courts vary depending on the severity of an crimes. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a medical prescription for it then you will be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.

Oberlin 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 a person might need to depend on the type of charge they have before the court, where it’s at in the process, and what kind of of information is required by law to be present.

Common Questions ABOUT the Oberlin Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Oberlin, Ohio?

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

What does the municipal court handle in Oberlin, Ohio?

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 deal with by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Oberlin Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Ohio?

A municipal courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until they retire. Judges are commonly chosen by precincts with each precinct’s results evaluated based on population. Municipal judges are generally not attorneys but have some legal education and must complete many hours of continuing material every period to maintain their credentials.