Seaside Municipal Court – Seaside, OR

Oct 26, 2021

A municipal court is a court with limited area of authority over criminal charges and civil matters inside its area. These courts can be found at the city or county level.

Seaside Municipal Court INformation

Court: Seaside Municipal Court
Address: “989 Broadway, Seaside, OR 97138”
Phone: 503-738-5511

City: Seaside
County: Clatsop
State: Oregon

What is the purpose of the Seaside Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they handle minor criminal charges, civil matters, and traffic matters. Courts like Seaside 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 divorce or other family matters, injury cases, more serious criminal infractions, or lawsuits.

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

TYPES OF CASES HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Seaside, Oregon

Municipal courts are the entry level 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 costs. The matters that could be heard by a municipal court vary depending on the municipality, but typically include traffic crimes, low level crimes and code violations.

There is no set definition for what makes a misdemeanor 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 is the procedure for cases in the municipal court in Seaside?

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 often known as 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 board to assist for a specific period of time.

Judges administer hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for an arrest
  • Set bail amounts and the conditions of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against individuals by police officers
  • Distribute search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to secure evidence from crime locations
  • start preliminary inquiries to learn if there is enough evidence to mount a charge

The typical process of a Municipal Court matter

The common process of a municipal courthouse case can be difficult to navigate. The following material is an overview of the common items involved in a typical municipal court matter.

First Step: An Issuance of Summons

A summons is given when an individual has been charged with violating a local rule or state law. The citizen who has received the summons will need to show up at their assigned time and courthouse, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to respond for the charge(s) against them. If they fail to 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: 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 Seaside, OR

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

A violation is a crime that has a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor can have 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 crimes. 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.

Seaside 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 case they have before the court, where it’s at in the process, and what kind of of information is required by law to be available.

FAQs ABOUT the Seaside Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Seaside, Oregon?

In Oregon, the municipal court is a lower level with civil and criminal jurisdiction within a city 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 Seaside, 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. More serious cases/crimes are handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Seaside Municipal Court have?

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

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 commonly elected by precincts with each precinct’s results judged according to the number of people. Municipal judges are generally not attorneys but have some legal education and must complete several hours of continuing education every year to maintain their credentials.