Valley City Municipal Court – Valley City, ND

Oct 26, 2021

A municipal court is a court with restrictive jurisdiction over criminal offenses and civil disputes inside its geographic area. These courts can be found at the county or city level.

Valley City Municipal Court INformation

Court: Valley City Municipal Court
Address: “216 2nd Ave NE, Valley City, ND 58072”
Phone: 701-845-3110

City: Valley City
County: Barnes
State: North Dakota

What is the purpose of the Valley City Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they handle minor crimes, civil cases, and traffic incidents. Courthouses like Valley City 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 matters, personal injury cases, more serious criminal charges, or contract disputes.

County courts have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil actions that can not exceed the amount of $15,000.00, while the circuits courts handle felony cases and bigger civil matters.

TYPES OF Matters adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Valley City, North Dakota

Municipal courts are the lowest level of courts in the U.S.. 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 help their citizens or to save money on costs. The cases that will be heard by a municipal court vary depending on the municipality, but typically include traffic tickets, small criminal charges and code violations.

There is no set definition for what establishes a misdemeanor versus a felony case, 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

What’s the process for cases in the municipal court in Valley City?

Municipal courts are the lowest 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 period.

Judges preside over 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
  • Distribute search warrants to police officers in order to secure evidence from crime scenes
  • start preliminary examinations to determine if there is enough evidence to charge

The common process of a Municipal Court Case

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 case.

Step One: Issuance of Summons

A summons from the court is given when a person has been charged with violating a city ordinance or state law. The individual who has received the court summons will need to be present 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 $1,000.00 or given a jail sentence if it’s a serious enough offense.

Second Step: 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 Valley City, ND

Penalties change often, which is why it’s good to speak with licensed lawyer. The information below represents common penalties, but may not be 100% accurate for the Valley City Municipal Court. 

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

Valley City 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 type of charge they have in front of the court, where it’s at in the process, and what kind of of information is required by law to be available.

Questions ABOUT the Valley City Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Valley City, North Dakota?

In North Dakota, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal matters within a city or municipality. Municipal courts will have a small location and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty crimes and misdemeanor charges.

What does the municipal court handle in Valley City, North Dakota?

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 handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Valley City Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in North Dakota?

A municipal court judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set term of years or until retirement. Judges are sometimes elected by the people with each precinct’s results judged according to the number of people. Municipal magistrates are generally not attorneys but have some legal education and must finish many hours of ongoing education every period to maintain their credentials.