St. Clair Municipal Division – St. Clair, MO

by | Oct 26, 2021

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

St. Clair Municipal Division INformation

Court: St. Clair Municipal Division
Address: “1 Paul Parks Drive, St. Clair, MO 63077”
Phone: 636-629-5194

City: St. Clair
County: Franklin
State: Missouri

What is the purpose of the St. Clair Municipal Division?

Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they work with minor crimes, civil disputes, and traffic matters. Courthouses like St. Clair Municipal Division are the first level of court for this group of matters.

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 charges, or contract disputes.

County courts have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil matters that can’t exceed the amount of $15,000, while the circuits courts handle felony cases and more expansive civil matters.

TYPES OF Matters HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in St. Clair, Missouri

Municipal courts are the lowest level of courts in the U.S.. 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 assist their population or to save money on administrative costs. The cases that may be heard by a municipal court vary depending on the municipality, but typically include traffic tickets, criminal misdemeanors and code infractions.

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

what is the procedure for cases in the municipal court in St. Clair?

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 have often been called city courts or town courts. Cases are managed 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 an arrest
  • Set bail amounts and the conditions of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against suspects by police officers
  • Issue search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to secure evidence from crime scenes
  • Conduct preliminary inquiries to establish if there is enough evidence to mount a charge

The usual process of a Municipal Court matter

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

First Step: An Issuance of Summons

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

Step Two: Show Up before Judge or Magistrate

If someone fails to show up after being summoned by the judge, there may be a warrant issued for the individual. 

Municipal Court Penalties in St. Clair, MO

Penalties change often, which is why it’s good to speak with licensed attorney. The information below represents common penalties, but may not be accurate for the St. Clair Municipal Division. 

A violation is an offense that carries a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor can have penalties up to $1k 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 courthouses 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.

St. Clair Municipal Division 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 a person might need to depend on the type of matter they have before the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what kind of of information is required by law to be available.

Common Questions ABOUT the St. Clair Municipal Division

What is municipal court in St. Clair, Missouri?

In Missouri, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal matters 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 misdemeanor crimes.

What does the municipal court handle in St. Clair, Missouri?

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 St. Clair Municipal Division have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Missouri?

A municipal courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set term of years or until they retire. Judges are sometimes chosen by precincts with each precinct’s results judged based on the number of people. Municipal judges are often not attorneys but have some legal education and must complete many hours of continuing material every year to maintain their licenses.