Van Wert Municipal Court – Van Wert, OH

by | Oct 26, 2021

A municipal court is a court with limited jurisdiction over criminal offenses and civil disputes within its area. These courts can be located at the city or county tier.

Van Wert Municipal Court INformation

Court: Van Wert Municipal Court
Address: “102 E Main St, Van Wert, OH 45891”
Phone: 419-238-5767

City: Van Wert
County: Van Wert
State: Ohio

What is the role of the Van Wert Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they deal with minor crimes, civil disputes, and traffic violations. Courts like Van Wert Municipal Court 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 matters, accident cases, more serious criminal infractions, 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 matters and more expansive civil cases.

TYPES OF affairs HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Van Wert, Ohio

Municipal courts are the entry level of courthouses 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 service their citizens or to save money on expenditures. The matters that will be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic matters, low level crimes and code infractions.

You will not find a standard for what makes a misdemeanor charge 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

What’s the process for cases in the municipal court in Van Wert?

Municipal courts are the first level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic tickets, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are often known as city courts or town courts. Matters are handled by a magistrate who is usually an attorney, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council board to serve for a specific period of time.

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 seize evidence from crime scenes
  • start preliminary examinations to learn if there is enough evidence to mount a charge

The usual process of a Municipal Court Case

The process of a municipal courthouse case can be difficult to navigate. The next portion is an overview of the common items involved in a typical municipal court case.

First Step: An Issuance of Summons

A summons from the court is given when an individual has been charged with violating a local rule or state law. The citizen who has received the 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 in absentia and could be fined up to $1,000.00 or sentenced to jail time if it’s a serious enough offense.

Step Two: Show Up before Judge or Magistrate

If someone fails to show up after being summoned by the judge, there may be a warrant issued for the person. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Van Wert, OH

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

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

Van Wert Municipal Court Records

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

FAQs ABOUT the Van Wert Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Van Wert, Ohio?

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

What does the municipal court handle in Van Wert, Ohio?

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 Van Wert Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Ohio?

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