Smyrna Municipal Court – Smyrna, TN

by | Oct 27, 2021

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

Smyrna Municipal Court INformation

Court: Smyrna Municipal Court
Address: “Smyrna Justice Center 400 Enon Springs Road East, Smyrna, TN 37167”
Phone: 615-355-5739

City: Smyrna
County: Rutherford
State: Tennessee

What is the role of the Smyrna Municipal Court?

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

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

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

TYPES OF CASES adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Smyrna, Tennessee

Municipal courts are the bottom rung of courts in the U.S.. 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 population or to save money on administrative costs. The cases that could be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic tickets, low level criminal charges and code violations.

You will not find a standard for what establishes a misdemeanor crime 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 Smyrna?

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 popularly known 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 serve for a specific period of time.

Magistrates preside over 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 police officers in order to secure evidence from crime scenes
  • Conduct preliminary inquiries to establish if there is enough evidence to charge

The Process of a Municipal Court matter

The common process of a municipal court 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 court summons is sent when a person has been charged with violating a town ordinance or state law. The person who has received the summons will need to appear at their assigned time and courthouse, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to answer for the charge(s) against them. If they don’t show up, they may be found guilty anyways and could be fined up to $1000 or sentenced to jail time if it’s a serious enough offense.

Step Two: 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 person. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Smyrna, TN

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 accurate for the Smyrna Municipal Court. 

A violation is a crime that has a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor charge can have penalties up to $1,000.00 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 crimes in municipal courts vary depending on the severity of an charges. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a medical prescription for it then you will be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

Smyrna Municipal Court Records

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

Common Questions ABOUT the Smyrna Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Smyrna, Tennessee?

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

What does the municipal court handle in Smyrna, Tennessee?

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. More serious cases/crimes are handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Smyrna Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Tennessee?

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 chosen by the people with each precinct’s results evaluated according to population. Municipal judges are often not lawyers but have some legal education and must finish multiple hours of continuing courses every period to maintain their credentials.