A municipal court is a court with limited jurisdiction over criminal charges and civil disputes within its area. These courts can be found at the city or county tier.
Scotch Plains Municipal Court INformation
Court: Scotch Plains Municipal Court
Address: “430 Park Avenue, Scotch Plains, NJ 07076”
Phone: 908-322-6700 ext. 216
City: Scotch Plains
State: New Jersey
What is the role of the Scotch Plains Municipal Court?
Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they work with minor crimes, civil disputes, and traffic violations. Courthouses like Scotch Plains 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 law matters, accident cases, more serious criminal infractions, or contract disputes.
County courts have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil actions that can not exceed the amount of $15,000.00, while the circuits courts handle felony cases and bigger civil matters.
TYPES OF Matters HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Scotch Plains, New Jersey
Municipal courts are the bottom rung of courthouses in the U.S.. 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 assist their citizens or to save money on overhead costs. The matters that could be heard by a municipal court vary depending on the municipality, but typically include traffic tickets, low level crimes and code infractions.
There is no set definition for what constitutes a misdemeanor charge versus a felony, 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 Scotch Plains?
Magistrates preside over hearings to determine:
- Probable cause for an arrest
- Set bail amounts and terms of release
- Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against individuals by police officers
- Distribute search warrants to police officers in order to secure evidence from crime scenes
- Conduct preliminary inquiries to establish if there is enough evidence to issue a charge
The usual process of a Municipal Court matter
First Step: Issuance of Summons
Second Step: Show Up before Judge or Magistrate
Municipal Court Penalties in Scotch Plains, NJ
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 Scotch Plains Municipal Court.
A violation is a crime that has a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor 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 crimes in municipal courthouses vary depending on the severity of an charges. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a license for it then you will be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.
Scotch Plains Municipal Court Records
Municipal Court records from a municipal government may be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one place or system. The records that an individual might need to depend on the type of charge they have in front of the court, where it’s at in the process, and what type of information is needed by law to be available.
Common Questions ABOUT the Scotch Plains Municipal Court
What is municipal court in Scotch Plains, New Jersey?
In New Jersey, the municipal court is a lower level with civil and criminal matters within a town or municipality. Municipal courts thus have a small area of influence and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty offenses and misdemeanors.
What does the municipal court handle in Scotch Plains, New Jersey?
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. Serious cases/crimes are deal with by higher authorities.
How many judges does the Scotch Plains Municipal Court have?
The count of judges depends on the municipality’s size.
How are cases heard in municipal courts in New Jersey?
A municipal courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set term of years or until retirement. Judges are commonly chosen by precincts with each precinct’s results weighted based on population. Municipal judges are generally not attorneys but have some legal training and must complete several hours of ongoing education every year to maintain their licenses.