A municipal court is a court with limited jurisdiction over criminal offenses and civil disputes inside its geographic area. These courts can be found at the city or county tier.
University Place Municipal Court INformation
Court: University Place Municipal Court
Address: “6000 Main Street SW, Lakewood, WA 98499”
What is the role of the University Place Municipal Court?
Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they handle minor criminal charges, civil disputes, and traffic incidents. Courts like University Place 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, accident cases, more serious criminal charges, or lawsuits.
County courthouses 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 felonies and bigger civil matters.
TYPES OF CASES seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Lakewood, Washington
Municipal courts are the lowest level of courts in the United States. They are usually found within the jurisdiction where they are located, but some places share municipal courts with other municipalities.
This can be done to better assist their citizens or to save money on expenditures. The cases that may be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic violations, low level criminal charges and code violations.
You will not find a standard for what establishes a misdemeanor charge versus a felony, but generally speaking felonies would require more time in jail than misdemeanor crimes 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 Lakewood?
Magistrates administer hearings to determine:
- Probable cause for an arrest
- Set bail amounts and terms of release
- Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against suspects by police officers
- Issue search warrants to police officers in order to secure evidence from crime scenes
- start preliminary examinations to learn if there is enough evidence to charge
The common process of a Municipal Court matter
First Step: Issuance of Summons
Second Step: Appearance before Judge or Magistrate
Municipal Court Penalties in Lakewood, WA
Penalties change often, which is why it’s good to speak with licensed lawyer near you. The material below represents common penalties, but may not be accurate for the University Place Municipal Court.
A violation is an offense that has a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor crime can have 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 courthouses 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.
University Place Municipal Court Records
Municipal Court records from a municipal court 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 type of matter they have in front of the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what kind of of information is needed by law to be available.
Questions ABOUT the University Place Municipal Court
What is municipal court in Lakewood, Washington?
In Washington, the municipal court is a lower court 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 Lakewood, Washington?
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. More serious cases/crimes are handled by higher authorities.
How many judges does the University Place Municipal Court have?
The count of judges depends on the municipality’s size.
How are cases heard in municipal courts in Washington?
A municipal court judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set term of years or until they retire. Judges are sometimes elected by the people with each precinct’s results judged according to the number of people. Municipal judges are often not lawyers but have some legal training and must complete many hours of continuing courses every period to maintain their licenses.