Reno Municipal Court – Reno, NV

Oct 26, 2021

A municipal court is a court with restrictive area of authority over criminal charges and civil matters within its location. These courts can be located at the county or city tier.

Reno Municipal Court INformation

Court: Reno Municipal Court
Address: “1 South Sierra Street, PO Box 1900, Reno, NV 89505”
Phone: 775-334-2290

City: Reno
County: Washoe
State: Nevada

What is the purpose of the Reno Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they deal with minor crimes, civil disputes, and traffic violations. Courts like Reno Municipal Court are the first level of court for this group of matters.

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 matters, personal injury cases, more serious criminal charges, or contract disputes.

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

TYPES OF Matters seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Reno, Nevada

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 locales share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better assist their population or to save money on administrative costs. The cases that will be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic crimes, criminal misdemeanors and code violations.

You will not find a standard for what constitutes a misdemeanor crime 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 managed in the municipal court in Reno?

Municipal courts are the first level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic tickets, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are popularly known city courts or town courts. Matters are handled by a magistrate who is usually an attorney, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council board to help for a specific duration.

Magistrates administer hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for arrest
  • Set bail amounts and conditions of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against individuals by police officers
  • Distribute search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to protect evidence from crime locations
  • start preliminary inquiries to learn if there is enough evidence to mount a charge

The common process of a Municipal Court matter

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

First Step: Issuance of Summons

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

Municipal Court Penalties in Reno, NV

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

A violation is an offense that has a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor can have 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 offenses. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a medical prescription for it then you could be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

Reno Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal court 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 type of matter they have before the court, where it’s at in the process, and what type of information is needed by law to be available.

FAQs ABOUT the Reno Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Reno, Nevada?

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

What does the municipal court handle in Reno, Nevada?

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 handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Reno Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Nevada?

A municipal court judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until they retire. Judges are commonly chosen by the people with each precinct’s results evaluated according to the number of people. Municipal judges are often not lawyers but have some legal education and must finish several hours of ongoing material every period to maintain their licenses.