Valley Park Municipal Court – Valley Park, MO

by | Oct 26, 2021

A municipal court is a court with small area of authority over criminal charges and civil matters within its geographic area. These courts can be located at the county or city tier.

Valley Park Municipal Court INformation

Court: Valley Park Municipal Court
Address: “320 Benton Street, Valley Park, MO 63088”
Phone: 636-225-5696

City: Valley Park
County: St. Louis
State: Missouri

What is the purpose of the Valley Park Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they handle minor criminal charges, civil cases, and traffic tickets. Courts like Valley Park 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 family law matters, personal injury, more serious criminal charges, or breaches of contract.

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 matters and bigger civil matters.

TYPES OF Matters HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Valley Park, Missouri

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 places share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better assist their citizens or to save money on expenditures. The matters that may be heard by a municipal court vary depending on the municipality, but typically include traffic tickets, low level 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 misdemeanors 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 Valley Park?

Municipal courts are the first tier 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 handled by a magistrate who is usually an attorney, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council members to assist for a specific time.

Magistrates preside over hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for arrest
  • Set bail amounts and terms of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against defendants by police officers
  • Distribute search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to secure evidence from crime locations
  • Conduct preliminary examinations to determine if there is enough evidence to mount a charge

The common process of a Municipal Court Case

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

Step One: An Issuance of Summons

A court summons is issued when an individual has been charged with violating a town ordinance or state law. The individual who has received the summons will need to appear 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 $1000 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 Park, MO

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

A violation is an offense that carries a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor crime can carry penalties up to $1k 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 crimes 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.

Valley Park Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal government may be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one area or system. The records that a person might need to depend on the type of case 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 present.

FAQs ABOUT the Valley Park Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Valley Park, Missouri?

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

What does the municipal court handle in Valley Park, Missouri?

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. Serious cases/crimes are handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Valley Park Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Missouri?

A municipal court judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set term of years or until retirement. Judges are commonly chosen by the people with each precinct’s results weighted based on population. Municipal judges are generally not attorneys but have some legal education and must complete many hours of ongoing education every period to maintain their licenses.