St. Louis County Municipal Court, South Division – St. Louis, MO

by | Oct 26, 2021

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

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

Court: “St. Louis County Municipal Court, South Division”
Address: “4544 Lemay Ferry Road, St. Louis, MO 63129”
Phone: 314-615-8760 ext. 3

City: St. Louis
County: St. Louis
State: Missouri

What is the purpose of the “St. Louis County Municipal Court, South Division”?

Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they work with minor crimes, civil matters, and traffic tickets. Courts like “St. Louis County Municipal Court, South 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 divorce or other family matters, personal injury, more serious criminal infractions, or lawsuits.

County courthouses have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil matters that can not exceed the amount of $15,000, while the circuits courts handle felonies and larger civil cases.

TYPES OF CASES adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in St. Louis, 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 places share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better service their citizens or to save money on overhead costs. The cases that could be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic tickets, low level criminal charges and code infractions.

You will not see a set definition for what constitutes a misdemeanor versus a felony crime, but generally speaking felonies would require more time in jail than misdemeanor charges and fines may also be higher for felonies. Traffic violations usually result in points against your driver’s license as well

How are cases handled in the municipal court in St. Louis?

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 handled by a magistrate who is usually an attorney, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council board to help for a specific duration.

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 individuals by police officers
  • Distribute search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to seize evidence from crime scenes
  • Conduct preliminary examinations to establish if there is enough evidence to mount a charge

The usual process of a Municipal Court matter

The process of a municipal court case can be difficult to navigate. The following material is an overview of the most common steps involved in a typical municipal court case.

Step One: 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 be present at their assigned time and location, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to respond for the charge(s) against them. If they never appear, 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: Show Up 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 St. Louis, MO

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

A violation is a crime that carries a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor charge can possess penalties up to $1000 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 offenses. 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, South Division” Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal court may 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 in front of the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what kind of of information is needed by law to be available.

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

What is municipal court in St. Louis, Missouri?

In Missouri, the municipal court is a lower level with civil and criminal jurisdiction within a town or municipality. Municipal courts thus have a small area of influence and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty charges and misdemeanors.

What does the municipal court handle in St. Louis, 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, South 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 judged based on population. Municipal magistrates are often not attorneys but have some legal education and must finish multiple hours of continuing education every period to maintain their credentials.