Tualatin Municipal Court – Tualatin, OR

Oct 26, 2021

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

Tualatin Municipal Court INformation

Court: Tualatin Municipal Court
Address: “8650 SW Tualatin Road, Tualatin, OR 97062”
Phone: 503-691-3025

City: Tualatin
County: Washington
State: Oregon

What is the role of the Tualatin Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they deal with minor crimes, civil disputes, and traffic incidents. Courthouses like Tualatin 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 divorce or other family matters, injury cases, more serious criminal charges, or contract disputes.

County courts have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil matters that won’t exceed the amount of $15,000.00, while the circuits courts handle felony cases and larger civil cases.

TYPES OF affairs adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Tualatin, Oregon

Municipal courts are the entry level of courts in the United States. 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 citizens or to save money on costs. The cases that could be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic matters, small criminal charges and code violations.

There is no set definition for what makes a misdemeanor charge versus a felony crime, 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 Tualatin?

Municipal courts are the first level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic violations, 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 assist for a specific time.

Magistrates administer hearings to determine:

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

The typical process of a Municipal Court matter

The common path of a municipal courthouse case can be tricky. The following is an overview of the steps involved in a typical municipal court matter.

Step One: Issuance of Summons

A court summons is issued when someone has been charged with violating a local rule or state law. The individual who has received the summons from the court will need to show up at their assigned time and place, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to answer for the charge(s) against them. If they never appear, they may be found guilty in absentia and could be fined up to $1k or given a jail term if it’s a serious enough offense.

Step Two: 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 person. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Tualatin, OR

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

A violation is a crime that carries a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor charge can possess penalties up to $1k 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 charges in municipal courts vary depending on the severity of an charges. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a medical prescription for it then you will be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

Tualatin 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 an individual might need to depend on the type of matter they have before the court, where it’s at in the process, and what kind of of information is needed by law to be available.

FAQs ABOUT the Tualatin Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Tualatin, Oregon?

In Oregon, the municipal court is a lower level with civil and criminal jurisdiction within a city or municipality. Municipal courts will 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 Tualatin, Oregon?

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. More serious cases/crimes are deal with by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Tualatin Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Oregon?

A municipal courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set term of years or until retirement. Judges are sometimes chosen by precincts with each precinct’s results weighted according to population. Municipal judges are generally not lawyers but have some legal education and must complete many hours of continuing courses every year to maintain their credentials.