Vandalia Municipal Court – Vandalia, MO

by | Oct 26, 2021

A municipal court is a court with small jurisdiction over criminal charges and civil disputes within its location. These courts can be found at the county or city tier.

Vandalia Municipal Court INformation

Court: Vandalia Municipal Court
Address: “200 East Park Street, Vandalia, MO 63382”
Phone: 573-594-6186

City: Vandalia
County: Audrain
State: Missouri

What is the purpose of the Vandalia Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they work with minor crimes, civil matters, and traffic violations. Courts like Vandalia 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 divorce or other family matters, personal injury cases, more serious criminal infractions, or lawsuits.

County courts have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil actions that can not exceed the amount of $15,000, while the circuits courts handle felonies and more expansive civil matters.

TYPES OF Legal Matters adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Vandalia, Missouri

Municipal courts are the bottom rung of courthouses in the U.S.. 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 help their citizens or to save money on costs. The matters that may be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic violations, small criminal charges and code violations.

There is no set definition for what constitutes a misdemeanor versus a felony crime, 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 Vandalia?

Municipal courts are the lowest level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic matters, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are have often been called 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 members to assist for a specific time.

Judges preside over hearings to determine:

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

The common process of a Municipal Court matter

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

First Step: Issuance of Summons

A court summons is given when an individual has been charged with violating a city rule or state law. The citizen 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 respond for the charge(s) against them. If they don’t come, they may be found guilty in absentia and could be fined up to $1000 or sentenced to jail time if it’s a serious enough offense.

Second Step: 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 Vandalia, MO

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

A violation is a crime that has a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor charge can possess penalties up to $1000 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 charges 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.

Vandalia Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal government could 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 in front of the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what kind of of information is required by law to be available.

Common Questions ABOUT the Vandalia Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Vandalia, Missouri?

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

What does the municipal court handle in Vandalia, Missouri?

Depending on the area 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 Vandalia Municipal Court 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 term of years or until they retire. Judges are commonly chosen by the people with each precinct’s results evaluated based on the number of people. Municipal judges are generally not attorneys but have some legal training and must finish several hours of ongoing courses every period to maintain their credentials.