Ray Municipal Court – Ray, ND

by | Oct 26, 2021

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

Ray Municipal Court INformation

Court: Ray Municipal Court
Address: “20 Winther St, PO Box 67, Ray, ND 58849”
Phone: 701-568-2204

City: Ray
County: Williams
State: North Dakota

What is the role of the Ray Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they handle minor criminal charges, civil cases, and traffic incidents. Courthouses like Ray 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 infractions, or breaches of contract.

County courts 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 bigger civil cases.

TYPES OF CASES HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Ray, North Dakota

Municipal courts are the lowest level of courts 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 help their population or to save money on expenditures. The cases that will be heard by a municipal court vary depending on the municipality, but typically include traffic tickets, small criminal charges and code violations.

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

How are cases handled in the municipal court in Ray?

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 board to assist for a specific time.

Magistrates administer hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for arrest
  • Set bail amounts and the conditions of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against individuals by police officers
  • Issue search warrants to police officers in order to seize evidence from crime locations
  • start 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 courthouse case can be difficult to navigate. The next portion is an overview of the common items involved in a typical municipal court matter.

First Step: Issuance of Summons

A summons is issued when an individual has been charged with violating a city rule or state law. The citizen 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 don’t come, they may be found guilty in absentia and could be fined up to $1,000.00 or sentenced to jail time 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 individual. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Ray, ND

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

A violation is a crime that has a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor crime 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 crimes in municipal courts vary depending on the severity of an offenses. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a medical prescription for it then you could be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.

Ray Municipal Court Records

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

FAQs ABOUT the Ray Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Ray, North Dakota?

In North Dakota, the municipal court is a lower level with civil and criminal jurisdiction within a city or municipality. Municipal courts have a small area of influence and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty offenses and misdemeanor charges.

What does the municipal court handle in Ray, North Dakota?

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 handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Ray Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in North Dakota?

A municipal courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until retirement. Judges are sometimes chosen by the people with each precinct’s results evaluated according to population. Municipal magistrates are generally not attorneys but have some legal training and must finish many hours of ongoing education every year to maintain their credentials.