Shaker Heights Municipal Court – Shaker Heights, OH

Oct 26, 2021

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

Shaker Heights Municipal Court INformation

Court: Shaker Heights Municipal Court
Address: “3355 Lee Rd, Shaker Heights, OH 44120”
Phone: 216-491-1300

City: Shaker Heights
County: Cuyahoga
State: Ohio

What is the role of the Shaker Heights Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they handle minor criminal charges, civil cases, and traffic incidents. Courts like Shaker Heights Municipal Court are the first level of court for these types of cases.

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 family matters, personal injury cases, more serious criminal infractions, or lawsuits.

County courts have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil matters that won’t exceed the amount of $15k, while the circuits courts handle felonies and bigger civil cases.

TYPES OF affairs seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Shaker Heights, Ohio

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 locales share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better service their citizens or to save money on overhead costs. The matters that will be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic matters, criminal misdemeanors 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 crimes 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 Shaker Heights?

Municipal courts are the entry level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic violations, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are have often been called city courts or town courts. Matters are managed by a magistrate who is usually a lawyer, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council board to assist for a specific duration.

Magistrates administer hearings to determine:

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

The common process of a Municipal Court matter

The common process of a municipal court case can be complicated. The next portion is an overview of the common items involved in a typical municipal court matter.

Step One: An Issuance of Summons

A summons from the court is issued when a person has been charged with violating a city ordinance or state law. The individual who has received the court summons will need to appear at their assigned time and location, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to answer for the charge(s) against them. If they don’t appear, they may be found guilty anyways and could be fined up to $1,000.00 or given a jail sentence if it’s a serious enough offense.

Second Step: 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 individual. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Shaker Heights, OH

Penalties change often, which is why it’s good to speak with licensed attorney. The information below represents common penalties, but may not be accurate for the Shaker Heights Municipal Court. 

A violation is an offense that carries a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor crime 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 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.

Shaker Heights Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal government could 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 type of information is required by law to be present.

FAQs ABOUT the Shaker Heights Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Shaker Heights, Ohio?

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

What does the municipal court handle in Shaker Heights, Ohio?

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 deal with by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Shaker Heights Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Ohio?

A municipal courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until retirement. Judges are commonly chosen by the people with each precinct’s results judged based on the number of people. Municipal magistrates are often not attorneys but have some legal training and must finish several hours of continuing courses every year to maintain their credentials.