Raritan Municipal Court – Raritan, NJ

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 found at the county or city level.

Raritan Municipal Court INformation

Court: Raritan Municipal Court
Address: “22 First Street, Raritan, NJ 08869”
Phone: 908-231-1300 ext. 26

City: Raritan
County: Somerset
State: New Jersey

What is the role of the Raritan Municipal Court?

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

In other situations, the role 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, personal injury, more serious criminal charges, or lawsuits.

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

TYPES OF affairs adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Raritan, New Jersey

Municipal courts are the entry level of courthouses in the United States. 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 service 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 violations, criminal misdemeanors and code violations.

You will not find a standard for what constitutes a misdemeanor crime 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

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

Municipal courts are the entry level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic violations, 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 board to assist for a specific time.

Magistrates administer hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for an arrest
  • Set bail amounts and the 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 locations
  • Conduct preliminary inquiries to learn if there is enough evidence to mount a charge

The typical process of a Municipal Court matter

The common process of a municipal courthouse case can be difficult to navigate. The next portion is an overview of the steps involved in a typical municipal court case.

Step One: An Issuance of Summons

A summons is given when a person has been charged with violating a city rule or state law. The person who has received the summons from the court will need to show up at their assigned time and place, 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 $1000 or given a jail term if it’s a serious enough offense.

Second Step: Show Up 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 Raritan, NJ

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 Raritan Municipal Court. 

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

Raritan Municipal Court Records

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

Questions ABOUT the Raritan Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Raritan, New Jersey?

In New Jersey, the municipal court is a lower level with civil and criminal matters within a city or municipality. Municipal courts will have a small location and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty offenses and misdemeanor crimes.

What does the municipal court handle in Raritan, 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 deal with by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Raritan Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in New Jersey?

A municipal courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until retirement. 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 finish multiple hours of ongoing material every period to maintain their licenses.