Tenafly Municipal Court – Tenafly, NJ

by | Oct 26, 2021

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

Tenafly Municipal Court INformation

Court: Tenafly Municipal Court
Address: “100 Riveredge Road, Tenafly, NJ 07670”
Phone: 201-408-3613

City: Tenafly
County: Bergen
State: New Jersey

What is the role of the Tenafly Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they work with minor crimes, civil disputes, and traffic matters. Courthouses like Tenafly Municipal Court are the first level of court for these types of cases.

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 matters that won’t exceed the amount of $15,000, while the circuits courts handle felonies and larger civil cases.

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

Municipal courts are the entry level of courthouses 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 population or to save money on overhead costs. The matters that may be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic tickets, small criminal charges and code violations.

You will not see a set definition for what establishes a misdemeanor versus a felony, 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’s the process for cases in the municipal court in Tenafly?

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 managed by a magistrate who is usually a lawyer, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council members to help for a specific time.

Magistrates preside over hearings to determine:

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

The typical process of a Municipal Court Case

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

First Step: An Issuance of Summons

A summons from the court is given when an individual has been charged with violating a local rule or state law. The individual who has received the summons 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 $1000 or given a jail term if it’s a serious enough offense.

Second Step: Appearance before Judge or Magistrate

If someone fails to respond after being summoned by the judge, there may be a warrant issued for the person. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Tenafly, NJ

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

A violation is an offense that carries a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor can possess 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 courts vary depending on the severity of an offenses. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a prescription for it then you will be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

Tenafly Municipal Court Records

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

Questions ABOUT the Tenafly Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Tenafly, New Jersey?

In New Jersey, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal jurisdiction within a city or municipality. Municipal courts 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 Tenafly, New Jersey?

Depending on the size 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 Tenafly 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 courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set term of years or until they retire. Judges are sometimes chosen by precincts with each precinct’s results evaluated based on population. Municipal magistrates are generally not lawyers but have some legal education and must complete many hours of ongoing material every year to maintain their licenses.