A municipal court is a court with small area of authority over criminal offenses and civil disputes inside its location. These courts can be located at the city or county level.
Ridgefield Municipal Court INformation
Court: Ridgefield Municipal Court
Address: “109 SW 1st Street, Suite 272, Battle Ground, WA 98604”
City: Battle Ground
What is the purpose of the Ridgefield Municipal Court?
Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they work with minor criminal charges, civil cases, and traffic tickets. Courts like Ridgefield 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, more serious criminal charges, or lawsuits.
County courthouses have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil matters that can not exceed the amount of $15,000.00, while the circuits courts handle felonies and larger civil cases.
TYPES OF CASES seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Battle Ground, Washington
Municipal courts are the bottom rung of courts in the United States. They are usually found within the jurisdiction where they are located, but some places share municipal courts with other municipalities.
This can be done to better service their citizens or to save money on overhead costs. The matters that may be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic violations, low level crimes and code infractions.
There is no set definition for what constitutes a misdemeanor crime versus a felony charge, 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 Battle Ground?
Magistrates preside over 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 secure evidence from crime locations
- start preliminary examinations to understand if there is enough evidence to mount a charge
The typical process of a Municipal Court Case
Step One: An Issuance of Summons
Second Step: Appearance before Judge or Magistrate
Municipal Court Penalties in Battle Ground, WA
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 Ridgefield Municipal Court.
A violation is a crime that has a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor charge can carry 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 charges in municipal courthouses 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 will be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.
Ridgefield Municipal Court Records
Municipal Court records from a municipal government 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 charge they have in front of the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what type of information is needed by law to be available.
FAQs ABOUT the Ridgefield Municipal Court
What is municipal court in Battle Ground, Washington?
In Washington, the municipal court is a lower level 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 misdemeanor charges.
What does the municipal court handle in Battle Ground, Washington?
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 Ridgefield Municipal Court have?
The count of judges depends on the municipality’s population.
How are cases heard in municipal courts in Washington?
A municipal court judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until retirement. Judges are sometimes elected by precincts with each precinct’s results judged according to the number of people. Municipal magistrates are generally not lawyers but have some legal education and must complete multiple hours of ongoing education every year to maintain their credentials.