Town of Cottage Grove Municipal Court – Cottage Grove, WI

by | Oct 28, 2021

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

Town of Cottage Grove Municipal Court INformation

Court: Town of Cottage Grove Municipal Court
Address: “221 East Cottage Grove Road, Cottage Grove, WI 53527”
Phone: 608-839-8064

City: Cottage Grove
County: Dane
State: Wisconsin

What is the purpose of the Town of Cottage Grove Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they deal with minor criminal charges, civil matters, and traffic tickets. Courthouses like Town of Cottage Grove Municipal Court are the first level of court for this group of matters.

On the other hand, the role of a county court is to deal with a large number of civil disputes within the respective region. Most cases involve family matters, injury cases, more serious criminal infractions, or lawsuits.

County courthouses have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil actions that can’t exceed the amount of $15,000, while the circuits courts handle felonies and bigger civil matters.

TYPES OF affairs HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Cottage Grove, Wisconsin

Municipal courts are the entry 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 assist their population or to save money on expenditures. The matters that could be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic crimes, small criminal charges and code violations.

There is no set definition for what makes a misdemeanor versus a felony, 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

How are cases handled in the municipal court in Cottage Grove?

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 often known as city courts or town courts. Matters are handled 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 period.

Magistrates preside over hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for arrest
  • Set bail amounts and terms of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against suspects by police officers
  • Issue search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to secure evidence from crime locations
  • start preliminary examinations to determine if there is enough evidence to issue a charge

The usual process of a Municipal Court Case

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

First Step: Issuance of Summons

A summons is issued when someone has been charged with violating a city rule or state law. The citizen who has received the court summons will need to be present at their assigned time and place, 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 $1k or given a jail sentence if it’s a serious enough offense.

Step Two: 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 individual. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Cottage Grove, WI

Penalties change often, which is why it’s good to speak with licensed attorney near you. The information below represents common penalties, but may not be accurate for the Town of Cottage Grove Municipal Court. 

A violation is a crime that has a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor charge can carry penalties up to $1,000.00 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 charges in municipal courts 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 $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

Town of Cottage Grove Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal government could 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 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.

Common Questions ABOUT the Town of Cottage Grove Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Cottage Grove, Wisconsin?

In Wisconsin, the municipal court is a lower level with civil and criminal jurisdiction within a town or municipality. Municipal courts have a small area of influence and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty charges and misdemeanor charges.

What does the municipal court handle in Cottage Grove, Wisconsin?

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 Town of Cottage Grove Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Wisconsin?

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 elected by precincts with each precinct’s results evaluated according to population. Municipal judges are often not attorneys but have some legal education and must complete multiple hours of ongoing education every period to maintain their credentials.