Ratliff City Municipal Court – Ratliff City, OK

by | Oct 26, 2021

A municipal court is a court with small area of authority over criminal charges and civil disputes within its geographic area. These courts can be found at the county or city tier.

Ratliff City Municipal Court INformation

Court: Ratliff City Municipal Court
Address: “32 Church Street, PO Box 66, Ratliff City, OK 73481”
Phone: 580-856-3599

City: Ratliff City
County: Carter
State: Oklahoma

What is the role of the Ratliff City Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they deal with minor criminal charges, civil cases, and traffic incidents. Courthouses like Ratliff City 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 cases, more serious criminal infractions, or breaches of contract.

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 larger civil matters.

TYPES OF CASES seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Ratliff City, Oklahoma

Municipal courts are the bottom rung 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 help their citizens or to save money on administrative costs. The matters that may be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic violations, low level criminal charges and code infractions.

There is no set definition for what makes a misdemeanor charge 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 is the procedure for cases in the municipal court in Ratliff City?

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 popularly known city courts or town courts. Cases are managed by a magistrate who is usually a lawyer, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council members to assist for a specific duration.

Judges preside over 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 protect evidence from crime scenes
  • Conduct preliminary examinations to understand if there is enough evidence to charge

The usual process of a Municipal Court matter

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

Step One: An Issuance of Summons

A summons is given when someone has been charged with violating a local rule or state law. The person who has received the court summons will need to be present at their assigned time and location, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to respond 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 sentence if it’s a serious enough offense.

Second Step: Appearance before Judge or Magistrate

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

Municipal Court Penalties in Ratliff City, OK

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

A violation is an offense that carries a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor can have 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 crimes in municipal courts vary depending on the severity of an crimes. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a prescription for it then you could be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

Ratliff City Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal court could 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 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 Ratliff City Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Ratliff City, Oklahoma?

In Oklahoma, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal matters within a town or municipality. Municipal courts thus have a small jurisdiction and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty crimes and misdemeanor crimes.

What does the municipal court handle in Ratliff City, Oklahoma?

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 deal with by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Ratliff City Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Oklahoma?

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