Upper Township Municipal Court – Petersburg, NJ

by | Oct 26, 2021

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

Upper Township Municipal Court INformation

Court: Upper Township Municipal Court
Address: “2100 Tuckahoe Road, Petersburg, NJ 08270”
Phone: 609-628-2011

City: Petersburg
County: Cape May
State: New Jersey

What is the purpose of the Upper Township Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they work with minor crimes, civil matters, and traffic violations. Courts like Upper Township Municipal Court are the first level of court for these types of cases.

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, injury cases, more serious criminal charges, or lawsuits.

County courts have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil actions that won’t exceed the amount of $15,000, while the circuits courts handle felony cases and more expansive civil cases.

TYPES OF Legal Matters HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Petersburg, New Jersey

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 jurisdictions share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better assist their citizens or to save money on overhead costs. The matters that may be heard by a municipal court vary depending on the municipality, but typically include traffic violations, small criminal charges and code violations.

You will not see a set definition for what constitutes a misdemeanor crime 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 managed in the municipal court in Petersburg?

Municipal courts are the entry level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic crimes, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are popularly known 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 help for a specific time period.

Judges administer 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
  • Distribute search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to secure evidence from crime locations
  • start preliminary inquiries to learn if there is enough evidence to mount a charge

The Process of a Municipal Court Case

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

Step One: Issuance of Summons

A summons from the court is given when a person has been charged with violating a city rule or state law. The individual who has received the summons from the court will need to show up at their assigned time and location, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to respond for the charge(s) against them. If they fail to appear, they may be found guilty in absentia and could be fined up to $1,000.00 or given a jail sentence if it’s a serious enough offense.

Second Step: Appearance 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 Petersburg, NJ

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 Upper Township Municipal Court. 

A violation is an offense that carries a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor crime 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 crimes. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a prescription for it then you could be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.

Upper Township 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 case they have in front of the court, where it’s at in the process, and what type of information is required by law to be available.

FAQs ABOUT the Upper Township Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Petersburg, New Jersey?

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

What does the municipal court handle in Petersburg, New Jersey?

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 deal with by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Upper Township Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in New Jersey?

A municipal court judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set term of years or until they retire. Judges are commonly chosen by precincts with each precinct’s results evaluated based on population. Municipal judges are often not lawyers but have some legal training and must finish several hours of ongoing courses every period to maintain their credentials.