South Hackensack Municipal Court – South Hackensack, NJ

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 city or county level.

South Hackensack Municipal Court INformation

Court: South Hackensack Municipal Court
Address: “227 Phillips Avenue, South Hackensack, NJ 07606”
Phone: 201-440-1844

City: South Hackensack
County: Bergen
State: New Jersey

What is the role of the South Hackensack Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they handle minor criminal charges, civil matters, and traffic matters. Courts like South Hackensack 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 cases, more serious criminal infractions, or breaches of contract.

County courts have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil actions that can not exceed the amount of $15,000, while the circuits courts handle felonies and larger civil cases.

TYPES OF Matters seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in South Hackensack, New Jersey

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 serve their citizens or to save money on overhead costs. The cases that may be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic tickets, low level criminal charges and code infractions.

You will not find a standard for what establishes a misdemeanor crime versus a felony crime, 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

What’s the process for cases in the municipal court in South Hackensack?

Municipal courts are the lowest level 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 a lawyer, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council board to serve for a specific duration.

Magistrates preside over 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 police officers in order to secure evidence from crime locations
  • start preliminary inquiries to establish if there is enough evidence to issue a charge

The Process of a Municipal Court matter

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

First Step: Issuance of Summons

A court summons is given when a person has been charged with violating a town rule or state law. The individual who has received the summons from the court will need to be present 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 given a jail sentence if it’s a serious enough offense.

Step Two: Appearance 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 South Hackensack, NJ

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 accurate for the South Hackensack Municipal Court. 

A violation is a crime that has a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor 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 charges 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 will be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

South Hackensack Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal government may be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one area or system. The records that an individual might need to depend on the type of case they have before the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what type of information is needed by law to be available.

FAQs ABOUT the South Hackensack Municipal Court

What is municipal court in South Hackensack, New Jersey?

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

What does the municipal court handle in South Hackensack, New Jersey?

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. Serious cases/crimes are deal with by higher authorities.

How many judges does the South Hackensack Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in New Jersey?

A municipal courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until retirement. Judges are sometimes chosen by the people with each precinct’s results weighted based on population. Municipal judges are generally not attorneys but have some legal training and must finish many hours of ongoing education every period to maintain their credentials.