A municipal court is a court with restrictive jurisdiction over criminal offenses and civil matters within its location. These courts can be located at the city or county level.
SeaTac Municipal Court INformation
Court: SeaTac Municipal Court
Address: “4800 S 188th Street, SeaTac, WA 98188”
What is the role of the SeaTac Municipal Court?
Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they handle minor crimes, civil disputes, and traffic violations. Courts like SeaTac 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, personal injury cases, more serious criminal charges, or lawsuits.
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 more expansive civil matters.
TYPES OF affairs adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in SeaTac, Washington
Municipal courts are the bottom rung of courthouses in the United States. 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 vary depending on the municipality, but typically include traffic crimes, low level criminal charges and code infractions.
You will not see a set definition for what constitutes a misdemeanor versus a felony case, 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 SeaTac?
Judges administer hearings to determine:
- Probable cause for arrest
- Set bail amounts and the conditions of release
- Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against suspects by police officers
- Issue search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to seize evidence from crime scenes
- start preliminary examinations to learn if there is enough evidence to charge
The common process of a Municipal Court matter
First Step: An Issuance of Summons
Second Step: Show Up before Judge or Magistrate
Municipal Court Penalties in SeaTac, WA
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 SeaTac Municipal Court.
A violation is a crime that has a penalty of $500 or below, 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 charges 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 $2k or spend up to six months in jail.
SeaTac Municipal Court Records
Municipal Court records from a municipal government 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 type of charge they have in front of the court, where it’s at in the process, and what type of information is required by law to be available.
Common Questions ABOUT the SeaTac Municipal Court
What is municipal court in SeaTac, Washington?
In Washington, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal jurisdiction within a city or municipality. Municipal courts will have a small location and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty crimes and misdemeanors.
What does the municipal court handle in SeaTac, Washington?
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 SeaTac Municipal Court have?
The number of judges depends on the municipality’s population.
How are cases heard in municipal courts in Washington?
A municipal courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set term of years or until retirement. Judges are sometimes chosen by precincts with each precinct’s results weighted according to population. Municipal judges are often not attorneys but have some legal training and must finish several hours of ongoing education every year to maintain their licenses.