Umatilla Municipal Court – Umatilla, OR

by | Oct 26, 2021

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

Umatilla Municipal Court INformation

Court: Umatilla Municipal Court
Address: “300 6th Street, PO Box 130, Umatilla, OR 97882”
Phone: 541-922-3226 ext. 106

City: Umatilla
County: Umatilla
State: Oregon

What is the purpose of the Umatilla Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they handle minor crimes, civil matters, and traffic matters. Courthouses like Umatilla 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 law matters, accident cases, more serious criminal infractions, or breaches of contract.

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

TYPES OF affairs HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Umatilla, Oregon

Municipal courts are the bottom rung 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 serve their citizens or to save money on expenditures. The matters that could be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic tickets, low level crimes and code violations.

You will not find a standard for what establishes a misdemeanor versus a felony case, 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

What’s the process for cases in the municipal court in Umatilla?

Municipal courts are the first level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic crimes, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are have often been called 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 board to serve 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 individuals by police officers
  • Distribute search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to seize evidence from crime locations
  • start preliminary examinations to establish if there is enough evidence to mount a charge

The typical process of a Municipal Court Case

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

First Step: An Issuance of Summons

A summons from the court is issued when someone has been charged with violating a town rule or state law. The citizen who has received the summons from the court will need to be present at their assigned time and location, 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 sentence 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 individual. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Umatilla, OR

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

A violation is an offense that has a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor can possess penalties up to $1000 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 courts vary depending on the severity of an charges. 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.

Umatilla Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal court 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 before the court, where it’s at in the process, and what type of information is required by law to be present.

Common Questions ABOUT the Umatilla Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Umatilla, Oregon?

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

What does the municipal court handle in Umatilla, Oregon?

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

How many judges does the Umatilla Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Oregon?

A municipal courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until they retire. Judges are commonly elected by the people with each precinct’s results judged according to population. Municipal judges are generally not lawyers but have some legal education and must complete several hours of ongoing courses every period to maintain their credentials.