Springfield Township Municipal Court – Columbus, NJ

by | Oct 26, 2021

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

Springfield Township Municipal Court INformation

Court: Springfield Township Municipal Court
Address: “3135 Route 206 South, Suite 2, Columbus, NJ 08022”
Phone: 609-298-0542 ext. 1023

City: Columbus
County: Burlington
State: New Jersey

What is the purpose of the Springfield Township Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they deal with minor crimes, civil matters, and traffic violations. Courts like Springfield Township Municipal Court are the first level of court for this group of matters.

On the other hand, the role 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 contract disputes.

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

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

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 citizens or to save money on administrative costs. The matters that could be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic matters, small criminal charges and code violations.

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

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 often known as city courts or town courts. Cases are handled by a magistrate who is usually a lawyer, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council board to assist for a specific period of time.

Judges 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 defendants by police officers
  • Distribute search warrants to police officers in order to secure evidence from crime locations
  • Conduct preliminary inquiries to learn if there is enough evidence to charge

The Process of a Municipal Court matter

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

Step One: Issuance of Summons

A summons is sent when a person has been charged with violating a town ordinance or state law. The individual who has received the summons will need to show up at their assigned time and courthouse, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to answer for the charge(s) against them. If they don’t appear, they may be found guilty anyways and could be fined up to $1k or given a jail term 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 individual. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Columbus, NJ

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

A violation is a crime that has a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor can possess 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 crimes 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 $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

Springfield Township Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal government may be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one place or system. The records that an individual 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 available.

Questions ABOUT the Springfield Township Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Columbus, New Jersey?

In New Jersey, the municipal court is a lower level with civil and criminal matters within a town or municipality. Municipal courts will 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 Columbus, New Jersey?

Depending on the area 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 Springfield Township Municipal Court have?

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

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 duration or until they retire. Judges are sometimes chosen by precincts with each precinct’s results weighted according to population. Municipal magistrates are often not attorneys but have some legal training and must complete many hours of continuing material every year to maintain their licenses.