Park River Municipal Court – Park River, ND

by | Oct 26, 2021

A municipal court is a court with small area of authority over criminal charges and civil disputes within its geographic area. These courts can be found at the county or city tier.

Park River Municipal Court INformation

Court: Park River Municipal Court
Address: “514 Briggs Ave S, PO Box C, Park River, ND 58270”
Phone: 701-284-6150

City: Park River
County: Walsh
State: North Dakota

What is the role of the Park River Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they work with minor criminal charges, civil cases, and traffic incidents. Courts like Park River Municipal Court are the first level of court for this group of matters.

On the other hand, the role 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 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 felony matters and more expansive civil matters.

TYPES OF CASES seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Park River, North Dakota

Municipal courts are the lowest level of courthouses in the U.S.. They are usually found within the jurisdiction where they are located, but some places share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better assist their citizens or to save money on overhead costs. The matters that may be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic violations, small criminal charges and code infractions.

You will not find a standard 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 handled in the municipal court in Park River?

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

Judges administer hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for an arrest
  • Set bail amounts and conditions of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against suspects by police officers
  • Distribute search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to protect evidence from crime locations
  • Conduct preliminary examinations to understand if there is enough evidence to issue a charge

The common process of a Municipal Court matter

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

Step One: An Issuance of Summons

A summons is given when someone has been charged with violating a town ordinance 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 don’t come, they may be found guilty in absentia and could be fined up to $1k or given a jail term 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 Park River, ND

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 Park River Municipal Court. 

A violation is a crime that has a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor can carry 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 charges. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a prescription for it then you will be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

Park River Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal government may be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one area or system. The records that a person 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.

FAQs ABOUT the Park River Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Park River, North Dakota?

In North Dakota, the municipal court is a lower level with civil and criminal jurisdiction within a town 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 Park River, North Dakota?

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 Park River Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in North Dakota?

A municipal court 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 according to population. Municipal magistrates are often not lawyers but have some legal training and must complete several hours of ongoing education every year to maintain their credentials.