Southampton Municipal Court – Southampton, NJ

by | Oct 26, 2021

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

Southampton Municipal Court INformation

Court: Southampton Municipal Court
Address: “5 Retreat Road, Southampton, NJ 08088”
Phone: 609-859-2747

City: Southampton
County: Burlington
State: New Jersey

What is the role of the Southampton Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they work with minor crimes, civil matters, and traffic violations. Courts like Southampton Municipal Court are the first level of court for these types of cases.

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

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

TYPES OF Legal Matters adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Southampton, New Jersey

Municipal courts are the entry level of courts in the United States. They are usually found within the jurisdiction where they are located, but some locales share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better help their population or to save money on expenditures. The cases that could be heard by a municipal court vary depending on the municipality, but typically include traffic crimes, low level crimes and code violations.

You will not see a set definition for what makes a misdemeanor crime versus a felony crime, but generally speaking felonies would require more time in jail than misdemeanor crimes 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 Southampton?

Municipal courts are the lowest level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic matters, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are often known as city courts or town courts. Matters are handled 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 period of time.

Magistrates manage hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for arrest
  • Set bail amounts and conditions of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against individuals by police officers
  • Issue search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to secure evidence from crime scenes
  • start preliminary examinations to understand if there is enough evidence to issue a charge

The Process of a Municipal Court Case

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

First Step: An Issuance of Summons

A summons from the court is issued when an individual has been charged with violating a city rule or state law. The citizen who has received the summons will need to be present at their assigned time and place, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to respond for the charge(s) against them. If they never appear, they may be found guilty anyways and could be fined up to $1,000.00 or given a jail term 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 Southampton, NJ

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

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

Southampton 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 a person might need to depend on the type of charge they have before the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what type of information is required by law to be present.

Common Questions ABOUT the Southampton Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Southampton, New Jersey?

In New Jersey, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal matters within a town or municipality. Municipal courts will have a small location and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty crimes and misdemeanors.

What does the municipal court handle in Southampton, New Jersey?

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 deal with by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Southampton Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in New Jersey?

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