Shinnston Municipal Court – Shinnston, WV

by | Oct 28, 2021

A municipal court is a court with restrictive jurisdiction over criminal charges and civil disputes inside its area. These courts can be located at the city or county level.

Shinnston Municipal Court INformation

Court: Shinnston Municipal Court
Address: “43 Bridge Street, Shinnston, WV 26431”
Phone: 304-592-2121

City: Shinnston
County: Harrison
State: West Virginia

What is the role of the Shinnston Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they deal with minor crimes, civil disputes, and traffic matters. Courts like Shinnston Municipal Court are the first level of court for this group of matters.

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 matters, personal injury, more serious criminal infractions, or contract disputes.

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 felony cases and bigger civil matters.

TYPES OF CASES adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Shinnston, West Virginia

Municipal courts are the lowest level of courts in the United States. 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 citizens or to save money on costs. The matters that may be heard by a municipal court vary depending on the municipality, but typically include traffic violations, small criminal charges and code violations.

There is no set definition for what makes a misdemeanor charge versus a felony case, 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

how are cases managed in the municipal court in Shinnston?

Municipal courts are the first tier 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 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 serve for a specific time.

Magistrates preside over hearings to determine:

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

The Process of a Municipal Court matter

The common path of a municipal court case can be tricky. The following material is an overview of the steps involved in a typical municipal court matter.

First Step: An Issuance of Summons

A summons from the court is issued when someone has been charged with violating a city ordinance or state law. The individual who has received the summons from the court will need to appear 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 sentence if it’s a serious enough offense.

Step Two: Show Up before Judge or Magistrate

If someone fails to respond after being summoned by the judge, there may be a warrant issued for the person. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Shinnston, WV

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

A violation is a crime that carries a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor can have 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 crimes in municipal courts vary depending on the severity of an offenses. 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.

Shinnston Municipal Court Records

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

Common Questions ABOUT the Shinnston Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Shinnston, West Virginia?

In West Virginia, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal matters within a town or municipality. Municipal courts will have a small jurisdiction and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty charges and misdemeanors.

What does the municipal court handle in Shinnston, West Virginia?

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 deal with by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Shinnston Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in West Virginia?

A municipal courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set term of years or until they retire. Judges are sometimes elected by precincts with each precinct’s results weighted according to population. Municipal judges are generally not attorneys but have some legal training and must complete several hours of ongoing material every period to maintain their licenses.