Pell City Municipal Court – Pell City, AL

Oct 25, 2021

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

Pell City Municipal Court INformation

Court: Pell City Municipal Court
Address: “1905 1st Ave N, Pell City, AL 35125”
Phone: 205-338-2244

City: Pell City
County: St. Clair
State: Alabama

What is the purpose of the Pell City Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they handle minor crimes, civil matters, and traffic violations. Courthouses like Pell City 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 law matters, personal injury, more serious criminal charges, or lawsuits.

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

TYPES OF Matters HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Pell City, Alabama

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 locales share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better help their people or to save money on overhead costs. The cases that could be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic matters, low level criminal charges and code infractions.

You will not find a standard for what establishes a misdemeanor crime versus a felony charge, 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

 

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How are cases handled in the municipal court in Pell City?

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 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 board to serve for a specific duration.

Judges 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
  • Issue search warrants to police officers in order to secure evidence from crime locations
  • Conduct preliminary examinations to understand if there is enough evidence to charge

The usual process of a Municipal Court Case

The common path of a municipal courthouse case can be difficult to navigate. The next portion is an overview of the common items involved in a typical municipal court matter.

First Step: Issuance of Summons

A court summons is sent when a person has been charged with violating a town ordinance or state law. The individual who has received the court summons will need to show up at their assigned time and courthouse, 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 $1k or given a jail term if it’s a serious enough offen

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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 Pell City, AL

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

A violation is a crime that has a penalty of $500 or less, 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 offenses 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 will be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.

Pell City 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 before the court, where it’s at in the process, and what kind of of information is needed by law to be available.

Common Questions ABOUT the Pell City Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Pell City, Alabama?

In Alabama, the municipal court is a lower level with civil and criminal matters within a city or municipality. Municipal courts have a small location and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty crimes and misdemeanor crimes.

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What does the municipal court handle in Pell City, Alabama?

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 handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Pell City Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Alabama?

A municipal court judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until retirement. Judges are commonly chosen by precincts with each precinct’s results weighted based on the number of people. Municipal judges are often not lawyers but have some legal training and must finish several hours of continuing courses every year to maintain their licenses.

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