Pequannock Township Municipal Court – Pompton Plains, NJ

by | Oct 26, 2021

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

Pequannock Township Municipal Court INformation

Court: Pequannock Township Municipal Court
Address: “530 Newark-Pompton Turnpike, Pompton Plains, NJ 07444”
Phone: 973-835-5700 ext. 114

City: Pompton Plains
County: Morris
State: New Jersey

What is the role of the Pequannock Township Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they handle minor crimes, civil disputes, and traffic matters. Courthouses like Pequannock Township 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 cases, 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 larger civil cases.

TYPES OF Matters HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Pompton Plains, New Jersey

Municipal courts are the entry level of courthouses in the U.S.. 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 citizens or to save money on costs. The cases that could be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic tickets, criminal misdemeanors and code violations.

You will not see a set definition for what establishes a misdemeanor charge versus a felony crime, but generally speaking felonies would require more time in jail than misdemeanor charges 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 Pompton Plains?

Municipal courts are the entry level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic matters, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are popularly known 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 assist for a specific duration.

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 individuals by police officers
  • Distribute search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to protect evidence from crime locations
  • start preliminary inquiries to establish if there is enough evidence to charge

The usual process of a Municipal Court matter

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

Step One: An Issuance of Summons

A court summons is issued when an individual has been charged with violating a local rule or state law. The citizen who has received the summons will need to show up at their assigned time and courthouse, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to answer for the charge(s) against them. If they don’t show up, they may be found guilty in absentia and could be fined up to $1,000.00 or given a jail sentence 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 Pompton Plains, NJ

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

A violation is an offense that carries a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor crime can carry 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 charges. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a license for it then you could be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.

Pequannock Township Municipal Court Records

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

Questions ABOUT the Pequannock Township Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Pompton Plains, New Jersey?

In New Jersey, 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 Pompton Plains, New Jersey?

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. More serious cases/crimes are handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Pequannock Township 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 court judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration 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 attorneys but have some legal education and must complete multiple hours of continuing education every period to maintain their licenses.