Spencer Municipal Court – Spencer, WV

by | Oct 28, 2021

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

Spencer Municipal Court INformation

Court: Spencer Municipal Court
Address: “116 Court Street, Spencer, WV 25276”
Phone: 304-927-1640

City: Spencer
County: Roane
State: West Virginia

What is the role of the Spencer Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they handle minor crimes, civil matters, and traffic incidents. Courthouses like Spencer Municipal Court are the first level of court for these types of cases.

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 family law matters, injury cases, more serious criminal charges, or lawsuits.

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

TYPES OF CASES HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Spencer, West Virginia

Municipal courts are the lowest level of courthouses 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 help their people or to save money on costs. The cases that could be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic matters, low level crimes and code infractions.

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

what is the procedure for cases in the municipal court in Spencer?

Municipal courts are the first level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic crimes, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are popularly known city courts or town courts. Cases 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 period of time.

Judges manage hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for an arrest
  • Set bail amounts and terms of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against suspects by police officers
  • Issue search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to protect evidence from crime locations
  • start preliminary examinations to determine if there is enough evidence to mount a charge

The typical process of a Municipal Court matter

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

First Step: An Issuance of Summons

A summons is sent when an individual has been charged with violating a town ordinance or state law. The citizen who has received the court summons will need to be present at their assigned time and location, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to answer for the charge(s) against them. If they don’t come, they may be found guilty anyways and could be fined up to $1,000.00 or given a jail sentence if it’s a serious enough offense.

Step Two: Appearance 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 Spencer, WV

Penalties change often, which is why it’s best to speak with licensed lawyer near you. The material below represents common penalties, but may not be 100% accurate for the Spencer Municipal Court. 

A violation is a crime that carries a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor crime can carry penalties up to $1,000.00 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 offenses in municipal courthouses 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 will be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.

Spencer Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal court could be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one location or system. The records that an individual might need to depend on the matter they have in front of the court, where it’s at in the process, and what type of information is required by law to be available.

FAQs ABOUT the Spencer Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Spencer, West Virginia?

In West Virginia, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal jurisdiction within a town or municipality. Municipal courts have a small location and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty crimes and misdemeanor crimes.

What does the municipal court handle in Spencer, West Virginia?

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 Spencer Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in West Virginia?

A municipal courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until they retire. Judges are sometimes elected by the people with each precinct’s results evaluated based on population. Municipal magistrates are often not lawyers but have some legal training and must finish many hours of ongoing education every year to maintain their licenses.