Van Buren Municipal Division – Van Buren, MO

by | Oct 26, 2021

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

Van Buren Municipal Division INformation

Court: Van Buren Municipal Division
Address: “Carter County Courthouse 105 Main Street, PO Box 578, Van Buren, MO 63965”
Phone: 573-323-4513

City: Van Buren
County: Carter
State: Missouri

What is the purpose of the Van Buren Municipal Division?

Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they deal with minor criminal charges, civil matters, and traffic violations. Courts like Van Buren Municipal Division are the first level of court for these types of cases.

In other situations, the purpose 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 cases, more serious criminal infractions, or lawsuits.

County courthouses have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil actions that won’t exceed the amount of $15,000.00, while the circuits courts handle felonies and more expansive civil matters.

TYPES OF Matters seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Van Buren, Missouri

Municipal courts are the entry level of courthouses 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 serve their citizens or to save money on administrative costs. The cases that could be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic violations, low level criminal charges and code violations.

There is no set definition for what constitutes a misdemeanor crime versus a felony, 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 is the procedure for cases in the municipal court in Van Buren?

Municipal courts are the first tier of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic matters, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are often known as 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 board to help for a specific duration.

Judges manage hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for an arrest
  • Set bail amounts and the conditions 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 scenes
  • start preliminary examinations to learn if there is enough evidence to charge

The typical process of a Municipal Court matter

The common path of a municipal courthouse case can be difficult to navigate. The next portion is an overview of the most common steps involved in a typical municipal court matter.

First Step: Issuance of Summons

A summons from the court is given when an individual has been charged with violating a town rule or state law. The individual who has received the summons from the court will need to be present at their assigned time and place, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to answer for the charge(s) against them. If they fail to appear, they may be found guilty in absentia and could be fined up to $1k or given a jail term 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 individual. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Van Buren, MO

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 Van Buren Municipal Division. 

A violation is a crime that has a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor charge can carry penalties up to $1k 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 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.

Van Buren Municipal Division Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal government may be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one location or system. The records that an individual might need to depend on the matter they have before the court, where it’s at in the process, and what type of information is needed by law to be present.

FAQs ABOUT the Van Buren Municipal Division

What is municipal court in Van Buren, Missouri?

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

What does the municipal court handle in Van Buren, 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 Van Buren Municipal Division have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Missouri?

A municipal courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until they retire. Judges are commonly chosen by precincts with each precinct’s results evaluated according to the number of people. Municipal magistrates are often not attorneys but have some legal education and must complete several hours of ongoing courses every year to maintain their licenses.