Tucumcari Municipal Court – Tucumcari, NM

Oct 26, 2021

A municipal court is a court with limited area of authority over criminal offenses and civil matters within its area. These courts can be found at the city or county tier.

Tucumcari Municipal Court INformation

Court: Tucumcari Municipal Court
Address: “215 East Center Street, Tucumcari, NM 88401”
Phone: 575-461-6375

City: Tucumcari
County: Quay
State: New Mexico

What is the purpose of the Tucumcari Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they handle minor crimes, civil disputes, and traffic tickets. Courthouses like Tucumcari 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, accident cases, 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 matters and bigger civil matters.

TYPES OF Legal Matters HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Tucumcari, New Mexico

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 locales share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better service their population or to save money on overhead costs. The cases that may be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic violations, low level crimes and code violations.

You will not find a standard for what constitutes a misdemeanor crime 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 is the procedure for cases in the municipal court in Tucumcari?

Municipal courts are the first tier of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic matters, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are have often been called 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 board to assist for a specific period of time.

Magistrates administer 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
  • Issue search warrants to police officers in order to secure evidence from crime scenes
  • start preliminary inquiries to establish if there is enough evidence to issue a charge

The typical process of a Municipal Court matter

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

Step One: Issuance of Summons

A summons from the court is sent when someone has been charged with violating a town ordinance or state law. The citizen 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 respond for the charge(s) against them. If they never appear, 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.

Step Two: Show Up 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 Tucumcari, NM

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

A violation is an offense that carries a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor can carry 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 charges in municipal courts vary depending on the severity of an crimes. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a medical prescription for it then you could be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.

Tucumcari 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 an individual might need to depend on the matter they have before the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what type of information is required by law to be present.

Questions ABOUT the Tucumcari Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Tucumcari, New Mexico?

In New Mexico, 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 crimes.

What does the municipal court handle in Tucumcari, New Mexico?

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 Tucumcari Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in New Mexico?

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 evaluated based on population. Municipal magistrates are often not attorneys but have some legal education and must complete multiple hours of ongoing courses every period to maintain their credentials.