Stratford Municipal Court – Stratford, NJ

Oct 26, 2021

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

Stratford Municipal Court INformation

Court: Stratford Municipal Court
Address: “315 Union Avenue, Stratford, NJ 08084”
Phone: 856-783-1093

City: Stratford
County: Camden
State: New Jersey

What is the role of the Stratford Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they deal with minor criminal charges, civil cases, and traffic incidents. Courts 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, accident cases, more serious criminal charges, or contract disputes.

County courts 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 matters and more expansive civil matters.

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

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 locales share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better service their people or to save money on costs. The matters that will be heard by a municipal court vary depending on the municipality, but typically include traffic matters, low level criminal charges and code violations.

You will not find a standard for what establishes a misdemeanor 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

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How are cases handled in the municipal court in Stratford?

Municipal courts are the lowest 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 handled by a magistrate who is usually a lawyer, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council board to assist for a specific time.

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 defendants by police officers
  • Distribute search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to seize evidence from crime locations
  • Conduct preliminary inquiries to determine if there is enough evidence to mount a charge

The common process of a Municipal Court matter

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

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 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 respond for the charge(s) against them. If they don’t appear, 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.

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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 Stratford, NJ

Penalties change often, which is why it’s best to speak with licensed lawyer near you. The material below represents common penalties, but may not be 100% accurate for the Stratford Municipal Court. 

A violation is a crime that has a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor can have 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 offenses. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a license for it then you will be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

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Stratford Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal government could be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one area or system. The records that an individual might need to depend on the type of matter they have in front of the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what type of information is required by law to be available.

FAQs ABOUT the Stratford Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Stratford, New Jersey?

In New Jersey, the municipal court is a lower level with civil and criminal matters within a city or municipality. Municipal courts have a small area of influence and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty offenses and misdemeanors.

What does the municipal court handle in Stratford, 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. Serious cases/crimes are deal with 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 New Jersey?

A municipal courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set term of years or until they retire. Judges are commonly chosen by the people with each precinct’s results weighted according to population. Municipal magistrates are generally not attorneys but have some legal training and must finish multiple hours of ongoing courses every year to maintain their credentials.

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