Shawnee Municipal Court – Shawnee, KS

Oct 26, 2021

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

Shawnee Municipal Court INformation

Court: Shawnee Municipal Court
Address: “5860 Renner Road, Shawnee, KS 66217”
Phone: 913-742-6003

City: Shawnee
County: Johnson
State: Kansas

What is the role of the Shawnee Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they deal with minor crimes, civil disputes, and traffic matters. Courthouses like Shawnee 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 law matters, personal injury, more serious criminal infractions, or contract disputes.

County courthouses have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil matters that can not exceed the amount of $15,000.00, while the circuits courts handle felony cases and bigger civil matters.

TYPES OF CASES HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Shawnee, Kansas

Municipal courts are the entry level of courts 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 people or to save money on costs. The matters that may be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic matters, criminal misdemeanors and code infractions.

You will not see a set definition for what makes a misdemeanor crime versus a felony crime, 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 Shawnee?

Municipal courts are the first tier of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic crimes, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are have often been called city courts or town courts. Cases are handled by a magistrate who is usually an attorney, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council members to help for a specific time period.

Magistrates manage 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 scenes
  • Conduct preliminary examinations to learn if there is enough evidence to mount a charge

The typical process of a Municipal Court matter

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

Step One: Issuance of Summons

A summons from the court is given when someone has been charged with violating a city ordinance or state law. The individual who has received the court 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 don’t come, they may be found guilty in absentia and could be fined up to $1k or given a jail term if it’s a serious enough offense.

Step Two: Appearance 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 Shawnee, KS

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

A violation is a crime that has a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor charge can carry penalties up to $1000 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 charges in municipal courts vary depending on the severity of an crimes. 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.

Shawnee Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal court may be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one place or system. The records that a person might need to depend on the type of matter they have before the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what type of information is required by law to be present.

Questions ABOUT the Shawnee Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Shawnee, Kansas?

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

What does the municipal court handle in Shawnee, Kansas?

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 handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Shawnee Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Kansas?

A municipal court 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 evaluated according to the number of people. Municipal magistrates are often not attorneys but have some legal education and must finish multiple hours of ongoing education every year to maintain their credentials.