South Haven Municipal Court – South Haven, KS

by | Oct 26, 2021

A municipal court is a court with restrictive area of authority over criminal offenses and civil disputes within its area. These courts can be found at the city or county level.

South Haven Municipal Court INformation

Court: South Haven Municipal Court
Address: “231 South Main Street, PO Box 130, South Haven, KS 67140”
Phone: 620-892-5292

City: South Haven
County: Sumner
State: Kansas

What is the role of the South Haven Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they deal with minor criminal charges, civil matters, and traffic incidents. Courthouses like South Haven Municipal Court are the first level of court for these types of cases.

In other situations, 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, injury cases, more serious criminal infractions, or contract disputes.

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

TYPES OF CASES HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in South Haven, Kansas

Municipal courts are the lowest level of courthouses 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 costs. The cases that may be heard by a municipal court vary depending on the municipality, but typically include traffic matters, low level criminal charges and code violations.

You will not find a standard 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 handled in the municipal court in South Haven?

Municipal courts are the first tier of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic matters, 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 help for a specific time period.

Judges administer hearings to determine:

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

The usual process of a Municipal Court Case

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

Step One: Issuance of Summons

A court summons is issued when a person has been charged with violating a city ordinance 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 fail to appear, they may be found guilty in absentia and could be fined up to $1,000.00 or sentenced to jail time if it’s a serious enough offense.

Second Step: 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 Haven, KS

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

A violation is an offense that carries a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor crime can have 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 crimes in municipal courthouses vary depending on the severity of an charges. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a license for it then you will be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.

South Haven Municipal Court Records

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

Common Questions ABOUT the South Haven Municipal Court

What is municipal court in South Haven, 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 location and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty offenses and misdemeanor charges.

What does the municipal court handle in South Haven, Kansas?

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. Serious cases/crimes are handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the South Haven Municipal Court have?

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

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 they retire. Judges are sometimes chosen by the people with each precinct’s results weighted based on population. Municipal judges are often not attorneys but have some legal education and must finish several hours of continuing courses every period to maintain their credentials.