St. Louis County Municipal Court, Central Division – Clayton, MO

by | Oct 26, 2021

A municipal court is a court with limited jurisdiction over criminal charges and civil disputes within its area. These courts can be located at the county or city level.

“St. Louis County Municipal Court, Central Division” INformation

Court: “St. Louis County Municipal Court, Central Division”
Address: “105 South Central, Room S27, Clayton, MO 63105”
Phone: 314-615-8760 ext. 5

City: Clayton
County: St. Louis
State: Missouri

What is the role of the “St. Louis County Municipal Court, Central Division”?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they work with minor criminal charges, civil disputes, and traffic tickets. Courts like “St. Louis County Municipal Court, Central Division” 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 law matters, personal injury, more serious criminal infractions, or contract disputes.

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

TYPES OF affairs seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Clayton, 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 help their people or to save money on overhead costs. The cases that may be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic crimes, low level criminal charges and code violations.

You will not see a set definition for what constitutes a misdemeanor crime versus a felony, 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’s the process for cases in the municipal court in Clayton?

Municipal courts are the entry level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic tickets, 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 a lawyer, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council members 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 suspects by police officers
  • Issue search warrants to police officers in order to seize evidence from crime locations
  • start preliminary inquiries to determine if there is enough evidence to mount a charge

The common process of a Municipal Court matter

The common path of a municipal courthouse case can be difficult to navigate. The next portion is an overview of the common items involved in a typical municipal court matter.

First Step: Issuance of Summons

A summons from the court is given when someone has been charged with violating a town rule or state law. The individual who has received the court 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 show up, 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.

Second Step: 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 Clayton, MO

Penalties change often, which is why it’s best to speak with licensed attorney. The material below represents common penalties, but may not be 100% accurate for the “St. Louis County Municipal Court, Central Division”. 

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

“St. Louis County Municipal Court, Central Division” Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal government 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 matter they have before the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what type of information is needed by law to be present.

FAQs ABOUT the “St. Louis County Municipal Court, Central Division”

What is municipal court in Clayton, Missouri?

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

What does the municipal court handle in Clayton, 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 deal with by higher authorities.

How many judges does the “St. Louis County Municipal Court, Central Division” have?

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

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 elected by the people with each precinct’s results weighted based on the number of people. Municipal judges are often not lawyers but have some legal training and must complete multiple hours of ongoing education every year to maintain their credentials.