A municipal court is a court with restrictive area of authority over criminal charges and civil matters within its geographic area. These courts can be found at the city or county level.
St. Joseph Municipal Court INformation
Court: St. Joseph Municipal Court
Address: “Buchanan County Courthouse 411 Jules Street, St. Joseph, MO 64501”
City: St. Joseph
What is the purpose of the St. Joseph Municipal Court?
Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they work with minor crimes, civil disputes, and traffic incidents. Courthouses like St. Joseph 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 matters, personal injury cases, more serious criminal charges, or lawsuits.
County courthouses have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil matters that can’t exceed the amount of $15k, while the circuits courts handle felony cases and more expansive civil matters.
TYPES OF CASES adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in St. Joseph, Missouri
Municipal courts are the entry level of courthouses in the United States. 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 matters that could be heard by a municipal court vary depending on the municipality, but typically include traffic tickets, low level criminal charges and code infractions.
You will not find a standard 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 St. Joseph?
Judges administer hearings to determine:
- Probable cause for an arrest
- Set bail amounts and terms of release
- Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against defendants by police officers
- Distribute search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to secure evidence from crime locations
- start preliminary examinations to learn if there is enough evidence to charge
The usual process of a Municipal Court Case
First Step: Issuance of Summons
Step Two: Appearance before Judge or Magistrate
Municipal Court Penalties in St. Joseph, MO
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 St. Joseph Municipal Court.
A violation is an offense that carries a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor charge can carry penalties up to $1k 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 charges 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 could be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.
St. Joseph Municipal Court Records
Municipal Court records from a municipal government could be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one area or system. The records that an individual 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 present.
Common Questions ABOUT the St. Joseph Municipal Court
What is municipal court in St. Joseph, Missouri?
In Missouri, the municipal court is a lower level with civil and criminal matters within a town or municipality. Municipal courts thus have a small location and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty offenses and misdemeanors.
What does the municipal court handle in St. Joseph, Missouri?
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 deal with by higher authorities.
How many judges does the St. Joseph Municipal Court have?
The number of judges depends on the municipality’s size.
How are cases heard in municipal courts in Missouri?
A municipal court judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until retirement. Judges are commonly chosen by precincts with each precinct’s results judged according to population. Municipal judges are often not attorneys but have some legal training and must finish many hours of continuing education every year to maintain their licenses.