Portsmouth Municipal Court – Portsmouth, OH

by | Oct 26, 2021

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

Portsmouth Municipal Court INformation

Court: Portsmouth Municipal Court
Address: “728 2nd St, Portsmouth, OH 45662”
Phone: 740-354-3283

City: Portsmouth
County: Scioto
State: Ohio

What is the role of the Portsmouth Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they work with minor crimes, civil cases, and traffic tickets. Courts like Portsmouth Municipal Court are the first level of court for these types of cases.

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 family law matters, personal injury cases, more serious criminal infractions, or contract disputes.

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

 

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TYPES OF affairs adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Portsmouth, Ohio

Municipal courts are the entry level 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 expenditures. The matters that could be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic tickets, low level criminal charges and code violations.

You will not find a standard for what makes a misdemeanor 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

how are cases managed in the municipal court in Portsmouth?

Municipal courts are the first 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 handled by a magistrate who is usually a lawyer, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council members to serve for a specific period of 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
  • Distribute search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to secure evidence from crime locations
  • start preliminary examinations to establish if there is enough evidence to mount a charge

The usual process of a Municipal Court Case

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

Step One: Issuance of Summons

A summons from the court is sent when an individual has been charged with violating a city ordinance or state law. The person who has received the summons will need to appear at their assigned time and location, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to respond for the charge(s) against them. If they don’t appear, 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.

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Second Step: 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 Portsmouth, OH

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

A violation is a crime that has a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor can possess 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 offenses 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.

Portsmouth Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal government may be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one location or system. The records that an individual might need to depend on the matter they have in front of the court, where it’s at in the process, and what kind of of information is needed by law to be available.

 

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Questions ABOUT the Portsmouth Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Portsmouth, Ohio?

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

What does the municipal court handle in Portsmouth, Ohio?

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 Portsmouth Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Ohio?

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 chosen by precincts 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 many hours of continuing material every year to maintain their credentials.

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