Putnam County Municipal Court – Ottawa, OH

by | Oct 26, 2021

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

Putnam County Municipal Court INformation

Court: Putnam County Municipal Court
Address: “Putnam County Courthouse 245 E Main St, Suite 301, Ottawa, OH 45875”
Phone: 419-523-3110

City: Ottawa
County: Putnam
State: Ohio

What is the role of the Putnam County Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they deal with minor criminal charges, civil matters, and traffic incidents. Courthouses like Putnam County 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 charges, or lawsuits.

County courts have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil actions that can’t exceed the amount of $15,000, while the circuits courts handle felonies and more expansive civil cases.

TYPES OF CASES HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Ottawa, Ohio

Municipal courts are the lowest level of courthouses 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 serve their people or to save money on administrative costs. The cases that will be heard by a municipal court vary depending on the municipality, but typically include traffic matters, criminal misdemeanors and code violations.

There is no set definition for what constitutes a misdemeanor versus a felony case, 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

what is the procedure for cases in the municipal court in Ottawa?

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 have often been called city courts or town courts. Matters 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 serve for a specific time.

Magistrates preside over hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for arrest
  • Set bail amounts and terms of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against suspects by police officers
  • Issue search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to seize evidence from crime scenes
  • Conduct preliminary examinations to learn if there is enough evidence to issue a charge

The typical process of a Municipal Court matter

The process of a municipal court case can be complicated. The following is an overview of the most common steps involved in a regular municipal court matter.

Step One: Issuance of Summons

A summons is sent when a person has been charged with violating a town ordinance or state law. The citizen who has received the court summons will need to be present at their assigned time and place, 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 $1k or given a jail sentence if it’s a serious enough offense.

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 person. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Ottawa, OH

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

A violation is an offense that has a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor crime 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 charges. 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.

Putnam County 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 a person might need to depend on the matter 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 available.

Common Questions ABOUT the Putnam County Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Ottawa, Ohio?

In Ohio, the municipal court is a lower court 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 misdemeanors.

What does the municipal court handle in Ottawa, Ohio?

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 deal with by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Putnam County Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Ohio?

A municipal courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set term of years or until they retire. Judges are commonly chosen by the people with each precinct’s results judged based on population. Municipal magistrates are generally not lawyers but have some legal education and must finish multiple hours of continuing material every period to maintain their licenses.