Seaside Park Municipal Court – Seaside Heights, NJ

by | Oct 26, 2021

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

Seaside Park Municipal Court INformation

Court: Seaside Park Municipal Court
Address: “George E. Tompkins Municipal Complex 116 Sherman Avenue, Seaside Heights, NJ 08751”
Phone: 732-830-2202

City: Seaside Heights
County: Ocean
State: New Jersey

What is the purpose of the Seaside Park Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they handle minor criminal charges, civil cases, and traffic tickets. Courthouses like Seaside Park 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 family law matters, personal injury, 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 matters and larger civil matters.

TYPES OF CASES adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Seaside Heights, New Jersey

Municipal courts are the lowest 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 service their citizens or to save money on costs. The matters that could be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic crimes, criminal misdemeanors and code violations.

There is no set definition for what makes a misdemeanor versus a felony, 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 Seaside Heights?

Municipal courts are the entry level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic tickets, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are popularly known city courts or town courts. Matters are handled by a magistrate who is usually a lawyer, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council board to serve for a specific period of time.

Magistrates manage hearings to determine:

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

The typical process of a Municipal Court Case

The common process of a municipal courthouse case can be difficult to navigate. The following is an overview of the steps involved in a regular municipal court case.

Step One: An Issuance of Summons

A court summons is given when someone has been charged with violating a local ordinance or state law. The individual who has received the summons will need to show up at their assigned time and courthouse, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to answer 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 Heights, NJ

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

A violation is a crime that carries a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor charge can possess 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 offenses in municipal courts vary depending on the severity of an offenses. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a license for it then you could be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.

Seaside Park Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal court could 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 type of matter they have in front of the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what kind of of information is needed by law to be present.

Common Questions ABOUT the Seaside Park Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Seaside Heights, New Jersey?

In New Jersey, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal matters within a town or municipality. Municipal courts will have a small area of influence and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty crimes and misdemeanors.

What does the municipal court handle in Seaside Heights, New Jersey?

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 Seaside Park Municipal Court have?

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

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 duration or until they retire. Judges are commonly chosen by the people with each precinct’s results weighted based on the number of people. Municipal magistrates are generally not attorneys but have some legal education and must complete multiple hours of ongoing education every period to maintain their licenses.