Rockaway Beach Municipal Court – Rockaway Beach, OR

by | Oct 26, 2021

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

Rockaway Beach Municipal Court INformation

Court: Rockaway Beach Municipal Court
Address: “276 South Highway 101, PO Box 5, Rockaway Beach, OR 97136”
Phone: 503-355-2291

City: Rockaway Beach
County: Tillamook
State: Oregon

What is the role of the Rockaway Beach Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they handle minor criminal charges, civil disputes, and traffic incidents. Courts like Rockaway Beach 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 divorce or other family matters, injury cases, more serious criminal infractions, or contract disputes.

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

TYPES OF Matters seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Rockaway Beach, Oregon

Municipal courts are the entry level of courthouses 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 help their citizens or to save money on administrative costs. The cases that may be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic matters, low level crimes and code violations.

You will not see a set definition for what constitutes a misdemeanor crime versus a felony crime, but generally speaking felonies would require more time in jail than misdemeanor crimes 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 Rockaway Beach?

Municipal courts are the lowest level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic violations, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are popularly known city courts or town courts. Cases are managed 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.

Judges manage hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for an arrest
  • Set bail amounts and conditions of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against defendants by police officers
  • Distribute search warrants to police officers in order to seize evidence from crime locations
  • start preliminary examinations to determine if there is enough evidence to issue a charge

The usual process of a Municipal Court Case

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

Step One: An Issuance of Summons

A summons is sent when someone has been charged with violating a city ordinance or state law. The individual who has received the summons will need to appear at their assigned time and courthouse, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to respond for the charge(s) against them. If they don’t come, they may be found guilty anyways and could be fined up to $1k or given a jail term if it’s a serious enough offense.

Step Two: 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 person. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Rockaway Beach, OR

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

A violation is an offense that carries a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor can possess penalties up to $1k 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 courthouses vary depending on the severity of an charges. 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.

Rockaway Beach 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 a person might need to depend on the matter they have in front of the court, where it’s at in the process, and what kind of of information is needed by law to be available.

Common Questions ABOUT the Rockaway Beach Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Rockaway Beach, Oregon?

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

What does the municipal court handle in Rockaway Beach, Oregon?

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 Rockaway Beach Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Oregon?

A municipal court judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until retirement. Judges are sometimes elected by the people with each precinct’s results judged based on the number of people. Municipal magistrates are generally not lawyers but have some legal training and must complete many hours of continuing material every period to maintain their licenses.