Stratford Municipal Court – Stratford, OK

Oct 26, 2021

A municipal court is a court with restrictive jurisdiction over criminal charges and civil matters within its geographic area. These courts can be found at the city or county level.

Stratford Municipal Court INformation

Court: Stratford Municipal Court
Address: “230 South Hyden Avenue, Stratford, OK 74872”
Phone: 580-759-2371

City: Stratford
County: Garvin
State: Oklahoma

What is the role of the Stratford Municipal Court?

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

On the other hand, the purpose 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 cases, more serious criminal charges, or breaches of contract.

County courthouses have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil actions that won’t exceed the amount of $15,000, while the circuits courts handle felony cases and larger civil cases.

TYPES OF Legal Matters seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Stratford, Oklahoma

Municipal courts are the lowest level of courts 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 service their population or to save money on overhead costs. The cases that will be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic violations, low level criminal charges and code violations.

You will not find a standard for what makes a misdemeanor versus a felony charge, 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

how are cases managed in the municipal court in Stratford?

Municipal courts are the entry 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. Matters are managed 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.

Magistrates preside over hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for arrest
  • Set bail amounts and terms of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against defendants by police officers
  • Distribute search warrants to police officers in order to protect evidence from crime locations
  • Conduct preliminary examinations to determine if there is enough evidence to mount a charge

The common process of a Municipal Court Case

The process of a municipal court case can be tricky. The next portion is an overview of the most common steps involved in a typical municipal court case.

First Step: An Issuance of Summons

A summons is sent when someone has been charged with violating a local ordinance or state law. The individual who has received the summons from the court will need to appear at their assigned time and courthouse, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to answer for the charge(s) against them. If they fail to appear, they may be found guilty in absentia and could be fined up to $1k or given a jail sentence if it’s a serious enough offense.

Second Step: 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 person. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Stratford, OK

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 Stratford Municipal Court. 

A violation is an offense that carries a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor crime can possess penalties up to $1,000.00 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 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 $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

Stratford Municipal Court 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 type of case they have before the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what type of information is needed by law to be available.

FAQs ABOUT the Stratford Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Stratford, Oklahoma?

In Oklahoma, the municipal court is a lower court 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 charges and misdemeanor charges.

What does the municipal court handle in Stratford, Oklahoma?

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 handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Stratford Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Oklahoma?

A municipal court judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set term of years or until they retire. Judges are sometimes chosen by the people with each precinct’s results evaluated based on the number of people. Municipal magistrates are generally not attorneys but have some legal education and must finish several hours of continuing education every year to maintain their credentials.