Piedmont Municipal Court – Piedmont, WV

by | Oct 28, 2021

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 level.

Piedmont Municipal Court INformation

Court: Piedmont Municipal Court
Address: “52 2nd Street, Piedmont, WV 26750”
Phone: 304-355-2621

City: Piedmont
County: Mineral
State: West Virginia

What is the purpose of the Piedmont Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they deal with minor criminal charges, civil matters, and traffic violations. Courthouses like Piedmont Municipal Court are the first level of court for this group of matters.

On the other hand, the purpose of a county court is to deal with a large number of civil disputes within the respective region. Most cases involve divorce or other family matters, accident cases, more serious criminal infractions, or breaches of contract.

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 felony cases and larger civil cases.

TYPES OF Matters HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Piedmont, West Virginia

Municipal courts are the entry level of courts in the U.S.. 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 serve their people 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 matters, small criminal charges and code infractions.

You will not find a standard for what constitutes a misdemeanor charge versus a felony crime, 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 Piedmont?

Municipal courts are the lowest level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic violations, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are have often been called 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 board to help for a specific time.

Judges 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 police officers in order to protect evidence from crime scenes
  • Conduct preliminary examinations to establish if there is enough evidence to issue a charge

The typical process of a Municipal Court matter

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

First Step: Issuance of Summons

A court summons is given when someone has been charged with violating a town ordinance or state law. The person who has received the 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 come, they may be found guilty anyways 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 person. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Piedmont, WV

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

A violation is a crime that carries a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor crime can possess 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 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 could be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

Piedmont Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal government may be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one place or system. The records that a person might need to depend on the type of case they have in front of the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what type of information is needed by law to be present.

Common Questions ABOUT the Piedmont Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Piedmont, West Virginia?

In West Virginia, 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 charges and misdemeanors.

What does the municipal court handle in Piedmont, West Virginia?

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. Serious cases/crimes are handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Piedmont 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 courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set term of years or until they retire. Judges are sometimes elected by the people with each precinct’s results weighted based on the number of people. Municipal judges are generally not attorneys but have some legal education and must complete several hours of ongoing education every period to maintain their credentials.