Thompson Municipal Court – Thompson, ND

Oct 26, 2021

A municipal court is a court with small area of authority over criminal charges and civil disputes inside its area. These courts can be found at the county or city tier.

Thompson Municipal Court INformation

Court: Thompson Municipal Court
Address: “306 Pacific Ave, PO Box 266, Thompson, ND 58278”
Phone: 701-599-2973

City: Thompson
County: Grand Forks
State: North Dakota

What is the role of the Thompson Municipal Court?

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

County courts 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 CASES adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Thompson, North Dakota

Municipal courts are the bottom rung 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 help their population or to save money on costs. The matters that will be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic crimes, criminal misdemeanors and code infractions.

There is no set definition for what establishes a misdemeanor crime 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 Thompson?

Municipal courts are the entry level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic tickets, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are popularly known city courts or town courts. Matters 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 assist for a specific time period.

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

The Process of a Municipal Court Case

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

Step One: An Issuance of Summons

A summons is sent when an individual has been charged with violating a town 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 respond 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 $1000 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 Thompson, ND

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

A violation is an offense that has a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor charge 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 crimes in municipal courthouses vary depending on the severity of an crimes. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a license for it then you could be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

Thompson Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal government 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 matter they have in front of the court, where it’s at in the process, and what type of information is needed by law to be available.

Questions ABOUT the Thompson Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Thompson, North Dakota?

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

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

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 Thompson Municipal Court have?

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

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 duration or until they retire. Judges are sometimes chosen by the people with each precinct’s results weighted according to population. Municipal judges are often not attorneys but have some legal training and must complete many hours of continuing education every year to maintain their credentials.