Phoenix Municipal Court – Phoenix, OR

by | Oct 26, 2021

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

Phoenix Municipal Court INformation

Court: Phoenix Municipal Court
Address: “112 West 2nd Street, PO Box 330, Phoenix, OR 97535”
Phone: 541-535-1955 ext. 302

City: Phoenix
County: Jackson
State: Oregon

What is the purpose of the Phoenix Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they handle minor crimes, civil cases, and traffic incidents. Courts like Phoenix Municipal Court are the first level of court for these types of cases.

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 matters, personal injury, more serious criminal charges, or contract disputes.

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

TYPES OF affairs adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Phoenix, Oregon

Municipal courts are the lowest level of courts 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 people or to save money on costs. The matters that will be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic matters, low level criminal charges and code violations.

You will not see a set definition for what makes a misdemeanor charge versus a felony crime, 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

What’s the process for cases in the municipal court in Phoenix?

Municipal courts are the first tier of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic matters, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are often known as city courts or town courts. Matters 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 an 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 scenes
  • start preliminary examinations to understand if there is enough evidence to charge

The usual process of a Municipal Court Case

The process of a municipal court case can be complicated. The next portion is an overview of the common items involved in a regular municipal court matter.

First Step: An Issuance of Summons

A court summons is issued when someone has been charged with violating a city ordinance or state law. The individual who has received the summons will need to appear at their assigned time and courthouse, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to answer for the charge(s) against them. If they never appear, they may be found guilty in absentia and could be fined up to $1,000.00 or given a jail term if it’s a serious enough offense.

Step Two: Appearance before Judge or Magistrate

If someone fails to respond after being summoned by the judge, there may be a warrant issued for the individual. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Phoenix, OR

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

A violation is a crime that carries a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor can possess penalties up to $1000 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 offenses. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a license for it then you will be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

Phoenix 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 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 required by law to be available.

Questions ABOUT the Phoenix Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Phoenix, Oregon?

In Oregon, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal jurisdiction within a city or municipality. Municipal courts have a small area of influence and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty offenses and misdemeanors.

What does the municipal court handle in Phoenix, Oregon?

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 handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Phoenix Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Oregon?

A municipal court judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set term of years or until they retire. Judges are commonly elected by precincts with each precinct’s results evaluated based on population. Municipal judges are often not attorneys but have some legal education and must complete several hours of continuing education every year to maintain their credentials.