Paramus Municipal Court – Paramus, NJ

by | Oct 26, 2021

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

Paramus Municipal Court INformation

Court: Paramus Municipal Court
Address: “1 West Jockish Square, PO Box 187, Paramus, NJ 07652”
Phone: 201-265-2100 ext. 2320

City: Paramus
County: Bergen
State: New Jersey

What is the purpose of the Paramus Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they work with minor crimes, civil matters, and traffic matters. Courthouses like Paramus 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 divorce or other family matters, personal injury, more serious criminal infractions, or lawsuits.

County courthouses have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil actions that can’t exceed the amount of $15,000.00, while the circuits courts handle felonies and more expansive civil matters.

TYPES OF Legal Matters adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Paramus, New Jersey

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 locales share municipal courts with other municipalities.

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

You will not see a set definition for what establishes a misdemeanor charge 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 Paramus?

Municipal courts are the first level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic tickets, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are have often been called city courts or town courts. Matters are handled by a magistrate who is usually a lawyer, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council members to help for a specific duration.

Magistrates 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 police officers in order to seize evidence from crime locations
  • Conduct preliminary inquiries to understand if there is enough evidence to issue a charge

The typical process of a Municipal Court Case

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

First Step: Issuance of Summons

A summons from the court is sent when a person has been charged with violating a local rule or state law. The person who has received the summons 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 anyways and could be fined up to $1,000.00 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 individual. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Paramus, NJ

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

A violation is an offense that carries a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor charge can carry 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 crimes in municipal courts vary depending on the severity of an crimes. 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.

Paramus Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal government 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 charge 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 available.

Common Questions ABOUT the Paramus Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Paramus, New Jersey?

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

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

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

How many judges does the Paramus Municipal Court have?

The count 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 commonly chosen by the people with each precinct’s results judged according to population. Municipal judges are often not attorneys but have some legal education and must complete many hours of ongoing material every period to maintain their licenses.