Richland Municipal Court – Richland, MO

by | Oct 26, 2021

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

Richland Municipal Court INformation

Court: Richland Municipal Court
Address: “204 East Washington Avenue, PO Box 798, Richland, MO 65556”
Phone: 573-765-3257

City: Richland
County: Pulaski
State: Missouri

What is the purpose of the Richland Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they work with minor crimes, civil disputes, and traffic matters. Courts like Richland Municipal Court are the first level of court for these types of cases.

In other situations, 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, injury cases, more serious criminal charges, or breaches of contract.

County courthouses have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil actions that can not exceed the amount of $15k, while the circuits courts handle felonies and more expansive civil matters.

TYPES OF CASES adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Richland, Missouri

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 jurisdictions share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better service their population or to save money on expenditures. The cases that may be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic tickets, small criminal charges and code infractions.

You will not see a set definition for what makes a misdemeanor versus a felony charge, but generally speaking felonies would require more time in jail than misdemeanors 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 Richland?

Municipal courts are the first 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. Cases are handled by a magistrate who is usually an attorney, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council members to assist for a specific time period.

Judges manage 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
  • Issue search warrants to police officers in order to protect evidence from crime locations
  • Conduct preliminary inquiries to determine if there is enough evidence to mount a charge

The typical process of a Municipal Court matter

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

Step One: An Issuance of Summons

A summons from the court is sent when a person has been charged with violating a city ordinance or state law. The person who has received the summons will need to be present at their assigned time and courthouse, 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 $1,000.00 or given a jail term 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 Richland, MO

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

A violation is an offense that carries a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor can have penalties up to $1,000.00 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 crimes in municipal courts vary depending on the severity of an offenses. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a prescription for it then you could be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.

Richland 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 type of matter they have in front of the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what type of information is required by law to be present.

Common Questions ABOUT the Richland Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Richland, Missouri?

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

What does the municipal court handle in Richland, Missouri?

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. More serious cases/crimes are deal with by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Richland Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Missouri?

A municipal courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until retirement. Judges are sometimes chosen by precincts with each precinct’s results weighted based on population. Municipal judges are generally not attorneys but have some legal education and must complete multiple hours of ongoing education every period to maintain their credentials.