A municipal court is a court with restrictive jurisdiction over criminal offenses and civil matters inside its geographic area. These courts can be found at the county or city tier.
Sunnyside Municipal Court INformation
Court: Sunnyside Municipal Court
Address: “Law & Justice Center 401 Homer Street, Sunnyside, WA 98944”
What is the purpose of the Sunnyside Municipal Court?
Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they work with minor crimes, civil cases, and traffic matters. Courthouses like Sunnyside 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 divorce or other family matters, personal injury cases, more serious criminal charges, or lawsuits.
County courts have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil actions that can’t exceed the amount of $15,000.00, while the circuits courts handle felony matters and larger civil cases.
TYPES OF Matters adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Sunnyside, Washington
Municipal courts are the lowest level of courthouses in the United States. They are usually found within the jurisdiction where they are located, but some jurisdictions share municipal courts with other municipalities.
This can be done to better serve their population or to save money on costs. The cases that could be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic matters, low level criminal charges and code infractions.
You will not see a set definition for what makes a misdemeanor crime versus a felony crime, but generally speaking felonies would require more time in jail than misdemeanor crimes 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 Sunnyside?
Judges manage hearings to determine:
- Probable cause for arrest
- Set bail amounts and conditions of release
- Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against suspects by police officers
- Distribute search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to protect evidence from crime locations
- start preliminary examinations to understand if there is enough evidence to issue a charge
The typical process of a Municipal Court Case
First Step: Issuance of Summons
Second Step: Appearance before Judge or Magistrate
Municipal Court Penalties in Sunnyside, WA
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 Sunnyside Municipal Court.
A violation is an offense that has a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor charge can carry 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 crimes in municipal courthouses vary depending on the severity of an crimes. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a prescription for it then you will be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.
Sunnyside Municipal Court Records
Municipal Court records from a municipal court may 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 case they have before the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what kind of of information is required by law to be available.
FAQs ABOUT the Sunnyside Municipal Court
What is municipal court in Sunnyside, Washington?
In Washington, the municipal court is a lower level with civil and criminal matters within a town or municipality. Municipal courts will have a small area of influence and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty crimes and misdemeanor charges.
What does the municipal court handle in Sunnyside, Washington?
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 Sunnyside Municipal Court have?
The count of judges depends on the municipality’s size.
How are cases heard in municipal courts in Washington?
A municipal courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until they retire. Judges are commonly elected by the people with each precinct’s results weighted based on the number of people. Municipal judges are often not attorneys but have some legal education and must complete several hours of continuing education every year to maintain their credentials.