Smithville Municipal Court – Smithville, MS

by | Oct 26, 2021

A municipal court is a court with small jurisdiction over criminal offenses and civil disputes within its geographic area. These courts can be found at the county or city tier.

Smithville Municipal Court INformation

Court: Smithville Municipal Court
Address: “6439 Hwy 25, Smithville, MS 38870”
Phone: 662-651-4411

City: Smithville
County: Monroe
State: Mississippi

What is the role of the Smithville Municipal Court?

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

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 divorce or other family matters, personal injury, more serious criminal charges, or contract disputes.

County courthouses have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil matters that can’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 Smithville, Mississippi

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 places share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better assist their citizens or to save money on costs. The cases that will be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic violations, criminal misdemeanors and code infractions.

You will not see a set definition for what makes a misdemeanor charge 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

how are cases managed in the municipal court in Smithville?

Municipal courts are the first tier of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic violations, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are popularly known city courts or town courts. Cases 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 help for a specific time.

Magistrates administer hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for arrest
  • Set bail amounts and terms of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against suspects by police officers
  • Issue search warrants to police officers in order to secure evidence from crime scenes
  • start preliminary inquiries to determine if there is enough evidence to charge

The Process of a Municipal Court Case

The common path of a municipal courthouse case can be complicated. The next portion is an overview of the most common steps involved in a regular municipal court matter.

First Step: Issuance of Summons

A summons is sent when someone has been charged with violating a local rule or state law. The person who has received the summons will need to show up at their assigned time and place, 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 $1,000.00 or given a jail term if it’s a serious enough offense.

Second Step: 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 individual. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Smithville, MS

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

A violation is a crime that carries a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor crime can possess penalties up to $1k 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 offenses. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a license for it then you could be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

Smithville Municipal Court Records

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

Questions ABOUT the Smithville Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Smithville, Mississippi?

In Mississippi, the municipal court is a lower level 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 crimes and misdemeanor crimes.

What does the municipal court handle in Smithville, Mississippi?

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 deal with by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Smithville Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Mississippi?

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