Paw Paw Municipal Court – Paw Paw, WV

by | Oct 28, 2021

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

Paw Paw Municipal Court INformation

Court: Paw Paw Municipal Court
Address: “121 Winchester Street, PO Box 35, Paw Paw, WV 25434”
Phone: 304-947-7476

City: Paw Paw
County: Morgan
State: West Virginia

What is the purpose of the Paw Paw Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they handle minor criminal charges, civil cases, and traffic incidents. Courthouses like Paw Paw 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 courts have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil matters that can’t exceed the amount of $15,000.00, while the circuits courts handle felony matters and bigger civil matters.

TYPES OF Matters adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Paw Paw, West Virginia

Municipal courts are the bottom rung 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 help their population or to save money on costs. The cases that may be heard by a municipal court vary depending on the municipality, but typically include traffic tickets, small criminal charges and code infractions.

There is no set definition for what constitutes a misdemeanor crime 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

what is the procedure for cases in the municipal court in Paw Paw?

Municipal courts are the entry level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic crimes, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are popularly known city courts or town courts. Cases are managed by a magistrate who is usually a lawyer, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council board to assist for a specific time.

Magistrates manage hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for arrest
  • Set bail amounts and terms of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against individuals by police officers
  • Issue search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to seize evidence from crime locations
  • start preliminary inquiries to determine if there is enough evidence to issue a charge

The common process of a Municipal Court Case

The common process of a municipal court case can be tricky. The following material is an overview of the most common steps involved in a typical municipal court matter.

Step One: Issuance of Summons

A summons is given when an individual has been charged with violating a town rule or state law. The citizen 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 don’t come, they may be found guilty in absentia and could be fined up to $1k or given a jail sentence if it’s a serious enough offense.

Second Step: Show Up 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 Paw Paw, WV

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

A violation is an offense that has a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor 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 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 $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

Paw Paw Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal government could 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 type of matter they have in front of the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what type of information is required by law to be present.

Questions ABOUT the Paw Paw Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Paw Paw, West Virginia?

In West Virginia, the municipal court is a lower level with civil and criminal matters 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 Paw Paw, West Virginia?

Depending on the size 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 Paw Paw Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in West Virginia?

A municipal court judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set term of years or until they retire. Judges are sometimes chosen by the people with each precinct’s results weighted according to population. Municipal judges are generally not lawyers but have some legal training and must complete many hours of continuing courses every period to maintain their credentials.