Steele Municipal Court – Steele, ND

by | Oct 26, 2021

A municipal court is a court with small jurisdiction over criminal offenses and civil matters within its location. These courts can be located at the county or city level.

Steele Municipal Court INformation

Court: Steele Municipal Court
Address: “PO Box 346, Steele, ND 58482”
Phone: 701-475-2134

City: Steele
County: Kidder
State: North Dakota

What is the role of the Steele Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they handle minor crimes, civil cases, and traffic matters. Courts like Steele Municipal Court are the first level of court for this group of matters.

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 law matters, accident cases, more serious criminal infractions, or breaches of contract.

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

TYPES OF affairs HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Steele, North Dakota

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 locales share municipal courts with other municipalities.

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

There is no set definition for what makes a misdemeanor crime 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 Steele?

Municipal courts are the first tier 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. Matters 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 period of time.

Judges preside over hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for an arrest
  • Set bail amounts and terms of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against suspects by police officers
  • Distribute search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to secure evidence from crime locations
  • Conduct preliminary examinations to learn if there is enough evidence to charge

The Process of a Municipal Court matter

The common path of a municipal court case can be complicated. The next portion is an overview of the common items involved in a regular municipal court case.

Step One: Issuance of Summons

A summons from the court is given when an individual has been charged with violating a city ordinance or state law. The citizen who has received the summons from the court will need to show up at their assigned time and place, 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 $1k or sentenced to jail time if it’s a serious enough offense.

Second Step: 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 Steele, ND

Penalties change often, which is why it’s best to speak with licensed attorney. The material below represents common penalties, but may not be accurate for the Steele Municipal Court. 

A violation is an offense that has a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor charge can possess 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 offenses in municipal courts 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.

Steele 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 an individual might need to depend on the type of charge they have before the court, where it’s at in the process, and what kind of of information is needed by law to be available.

Common Questions ABOUT the Steele Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Steele, North Dakota?

In North Dakota, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal jurisdiction within a town or municipality. Municipal courts have a small jurisdiction and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty offenses and misdemeanors.

What does the municipal court handle in Steele, North Dakota?

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

How many judges does the Steele Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in North Dakota?

A municipal courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set term of years or until retirement. Judges are sometimes chosen by precincts with each precinct’s results evaluated according to the number of people. Municipal judges are generally not lawyers but have some legal training and must complete multiple hours of ongoing courses every period to maintain their credentials.