Tower City Municipal Court – Tower City, ND

Oct 26, 2021

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

Tower City Municipal Court INformation

Court: Tower City Municipal Court
Address: “PO Box 55, Tower City, ND 58071”
Phone: 701-749-2343

City: Tower City
County: Cass
State: North Dakota

What is the purpose of the Tower City Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they work with minor criminal charges, civil cases, and traffic matters. Courts like Tower City Municipal Court are the first level of court for this group of matters.

In other situations, the role 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, more serious criminal infractions, or lawsuits.

County courts have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil matters that can not exceed the amount of $15,000, while the circuits courts handle felony cases and more expansive civil matters.

TYPES OF Legal Matters adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Tower City, North Dakota

Municipal courts are the bottom rung of courts in the U.S.. 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 assist their people or to save money on costs. The matters that will be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic violations, small criminal charges and code violations.

You will not see a set definition for what makes a misdemeanor versus a felony charge, but generally speaking felonies would require more time in jail than misdemeanor charges 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 Tower City?

Municipal courts are the first 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 an attorney, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council members to assist for a specific time.

Magistrates manage hearings to determine:

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

The Process of a Municipal Court matter

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

First Step: Issuance of Summons

A court summons is sent when someone has been charged with violating a city ordinance or state law. The person 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 don’t come, they may be found guilty anyways and could be fined up to $1000 or sentenced to jail time if it’s a serious enough offense.

Second Step: Appearance 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 Tower City, ND

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 Tower City Municipal Court. 

A violation is a crime that carries a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor can possess penalties up to $1k 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 offenses 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 will be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

Tower City Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal government may be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one location or system. The records that an individual might need to depend on the matter 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 present.

Common Questions ABOUT the Tower City Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Tower City, North Dakota?

In North Dakota, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal jurisdiction within a city or municipality. Municipal courts have a small location and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty offenses and misdemeanor crimes.

What does the municipal court handle in Tower City, North Dakota?

Depending on the area 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 Tower City Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in North Dakota?

A municipal court judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until retirement. Judges are commonly chosen by the people with each precinct’s results judged based on population. Municipal magistrates are often not lawyers but have some legal education and must complete many hours of ongoing courses every year to maintain their credentials.