Ocean City Municipal Court – Ocean City, NJ

by | Oct 26, 2021

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

Ocean City Municipal Court INformation

Court: Ocean City Municipal Court
Address: “Public Safety Building 821 Central Avenue, 3rd Floor, Ocean City, NJ 08226”
Phone: 609-525-9386

City: Ocean City
County: Cape May
State: New Jersey

What is the purpose of the Ocean City Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they deal with minor criminal charges, civil matters, and traffic incidents. Courts like Ocean City Municipal Court are the first level of court for these types of cases.

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 contract disputes.

County courthouses have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil matters that won’t exceed the amount of $15,000, while the circuits courts handle felony cases and more expansive civil matters.

TYPES OF affairs HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Ocean City, 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 jurisdictions share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better assist their people or to save money on expenditures. The cases that could be heard by a municipal court vary depending on the municipality, but typically include traffic violations, small criminal charges and code infractions.

There is no set definition for what makes a misdemeanor versus a felony, but generally speaking felonies would require more time in jail than misdemeanors 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 Ocean City?

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 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 duration.

Magistrates manage 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 secure evidence from crime scenes
  • start preliminary inquiries to establish if there is enough evidence to charge

The common process of a Municipal Court matter

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

Step One: Issuance of Summons

A court summons is sent when a person has been charged with violating a local rule or state law. The individual who has received the summons will need to appear at their assigned time and location, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to respond for the charge(s) against them. If they don’t appear, they may be found guilty in absentia and could be fined up to $1,000.00 or given a jail sentence 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 Ocean City, NJ

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

A violation is a crime that has a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor crime can possess 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 medical prescription for it then you will be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.

Ocean City Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal court may be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one location or system. The records that a person might need to depend on the type of matter they have before the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what kind of of information is required by law to be present.

Questions ABOUT the Ocean City Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Ocean City, New Jersey?

In New Jersey, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal jurisdiction within a town or municipality. Municipal courts have a small location and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty crimes and misdemeanor charges.

What does the municipal court handle in Ocean City, 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 handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Ocean City Municipal Court have?

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

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 term of years or until they retire. Judges are commonly elected by the people with each precinct’s results weighted according to the number of people. Municipal magistrates are often not attorneys but have some legal training and must complete many hours of ongoing education every year to maintain their credentials.