Ridgeley Municipal Court – Ridgeley, WV

by | Oct 28, 2021

A municipal court is a court with restrictive jurisdiction over criminal offenses and civil matters inside its location. These courts can be located at the city or county level.

Ridgeley Municipal Court INformation

Court: Ridgeley Municipal Court
Address: “PO Box 1290, Ridgeley, WV 26753”
Phone: 304-738-9400

City: Ridgeley
County: Mineral
State: West Virginia

What is the purpose of the Ridgeley Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they deal with minor criminal charges, civil disputes, and traffic matters. Courts like Ridgeley 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, injury cases, more serious criminal charges, or contract disputes.

County courthouses have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil matters that won’t exceed the amount of $15,000, while the circuits courts handle felony cases and bigger civil cases.

TYPES OF affairs seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Ridgeley, West Virginia

Municipal courts are the entry level of courthouses 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 population or to save money on expenditures. The matters that may be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic violations, low level crimes and code infractions.

You will not find a standard for what constitutes a misdemeanor charge versus a felony case, 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 handled in the municipal court in Ridgeley?

Municipal courts are the entry level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic crimes, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are popularly known 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 help for a specific time.

Judges manage hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for an arrest
  • Set bail amounts and terms 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
  • start preliminary examinations to establish if there is enough evidence to mount a charge

The common process of a Municipal Court Case

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

First Step: An Issuance of Summons

A summons from the court is given when a person has been charged with violating a local ordinance or state law. The citizen who has received the court summons will need to appear at their assigned time and location, 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.

Step Two: 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 person. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Ridgeley, WV

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

A violation is an offense that carries a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor crime can carry 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 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 will be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

Ridgeley 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 a person might need to depend on the matter they have before the court, where it’s at in the process, and what type of information is needed by law to be present.

FAQs ABOUT the Ridgeley Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Ridgeley, West Virginia?

In West Virginia, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal matters within a city or municipality. Municipal courts thus 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 Ridgeley, West Virginia?

Depending on the area 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 Ridgeley Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in West Virginia?

A municipal courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set term of years or until they retire. 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 material every year to maintain their credentials.