Ottawa Municipal Court – Ottawa, KS

by | Oct 26, 2021

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

Ottawa Municipal Court INformation

Court: Ottawa Municipal Court
Address: “715 West 2nd, Ottawa, KS 66067”
Phone: 785-242-5333

City: Ottawa
County: Franklin
State: Kansas

What is the purpose of the Ottawa Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they handle minor crimes, civil disputes, and traffic violations. Courthouses like Ottawa Municipal Court 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 family law matters, accident cases, more serious criminal infractions, or lawsuits.

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

TYPES OF CASES HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Ottawa, Kansas

Municipal courts are the entry level of courts in the United States. 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 service their population or to save money on expenditures. The matters that could be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic violations, small criminal charges and code infractions.

You will not see a set definition for what makes a misdemeanor crime versus a felony, 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 Ottawa?

Municipal courts are the first tier of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic tickets, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are often known as city courts or town courts. Cases 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 period.

Judges administer hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for an arrest
  • Set bail amounts and the conditions of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against defendants by police officers
  • Issue search warrants to police officers in order to protect evidence from crime scenes
  • start preliminary examinations to determine if there is enough evidence to mount a charge

The usual process of a Municipal Court Case

The common process of a municipal court case can be tricky. The next portion is an overview of the common items involved in a regular municipal court matter.

Step One: Issuance of Summons

A court summons is issued when a person has been charged with violating a local ordinance or state law. The person who has received the court summons will need to show up 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 $1k 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 Ottawa, KS

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

A violation is a crime that carries a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor charge can possess penalties up to $1k 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 courthouses 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.

Ottawa Municipal Court Records

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

Common Questions ABOUT the Ottawa Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Ottawa, Kansas?

In Kansas, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal matters within a city or municipality. Municipal courts thus have a small jurisdiction and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty offenses and misdemeanor charges.

What does the municipal court handle in Ottawa, Kansas?

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. More serious cases/crimes are deal with by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Ottawa Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Kansas?

A municipal court judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set term of years or until they retire. Judges are commonly elected by precincts with each precinct’s results judged based on the number of people. Municipal magistrates are generally not lawyers but have some legal training and must complete multiple hours of ongoing courses every year to maintain their licenses.