Stafford Township Municipal Court – Manahawkin, NJ

Oct 26, 2021

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

Stafford Township Municipal Court INformation

Court: Stafford Township Municipal Court
Address: “260 East Bay Avenue, Manahawkin, NJ 08050”
Phone: 609-597-1000

City: Manahawkin
County: Ocean
State: New Jersey

What is the role of the Stafford Township Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they deal with minor criminal charges, civil disputes, and traffic violations. Courthouses like Stafford Township Municipal Court are the first level of court for these types of cases.

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 cases, more serious criminal infractions, or breaches of contract.

County courthouses have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil matters that can’t exceed the amount of $15,000.00, while the circuits courts handle felony cases and more expansive civil cases.

TYPES OF Matters HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Manahawkin, New Jersey

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 locales share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better assist their citizens or to save money on costs. The cases that will be heard by a municipal court vary depending on the municipality, but typically include traffic violations, criminal misdemeanors and code violations.

There is no set definition for what makes a misdemeanor versus a felony, 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 managed in the municipal court in Manahawkin?

Municipal courts are the lowest 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 a lawyer, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council members to serve for a specific time period.

Magistrates manage hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for arrest
  • Set bail amounts and the conditions of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against suspects by police officers
  • Distribute search warrants to police officers in order to secure evidence from crime scenes
  • start preliminary inquiries to understand if there is enough evidence to issue a charge

The usual process of a Municipal Court matter

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

First Step: Issuance of Summons

A summons is issued when an individual has been charged with violating a city rule or state law. The citizen who has received the summons from the court will need to show up at their assigned time and location, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to answer for the charge(s) against them. If they never appear, they may be found guilty anyways and could be fined up to $1k or sentenced to jail time 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 Manahawkin, NJ

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

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

Stafford Township Municipal Court 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, where it’s at in the process, and what type of information is required by law to be present.

Common Questions ABOUT the Stafford Township Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Manahawkin, New Jersey?

In New Jersey, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal jurisdiction within a city or municipality. Municipal courts thus have a small location and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty crimes and misdemeanor crimes.

What does the municipal court handle in Manahawkin, New Jersey?

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. More serious cases/crimes are deal with by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Stafford Township Municipal Court have?

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

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 commonly chosen by precincts with each precinct’s results weighted according to the number of people. Municipal magistrates are generally not lawyers but have some legal education and must complete many hours of ongoing courses every year to maintain their licenses.