Wardell Municipal Court – Wardell, MO

by | Oct 26, 2021

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

Wardell Municipal Court INformation

Court: Wardell Municipal Court
Address: “108 Broad Street, PO Box 1, Wardell, MO 63879”
Phone: 573-628-3500

City: Wardell
County: Pemiscot
State: Missouri

What is the role of the Wardell Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they deal with minor crimes, civil cases, and traffic incidents. Courts like Wardell Municipal Court are the first level of court for this group of matters.

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, personal injury cases, more serious criminal infractions, or lawsuits.

County courts have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil actions that won’t exceed the amount of $15,000, while the circuits courts handle felony matters and bigger civil matters.

TYPES OF CASES HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Wardell, Missouri

Municipal courts are the entry level of courts in the United States. 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 people or to save money on costs. The matters that could be heard by a municipal court vary depending on the municipality, but typically include traffic crimes, criminal misdemeanors and code infractions.

You will not find a standard for what establishes a misdemeanor charge versus a felony crime, 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 Wardell?

Municipal courts are the entry 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.

Magistrates manage 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 secure evidence from crime scenes
  • Conduct preliminary inquiries to establish if there is enough evidence to charge

The common process of a Municipal Court matter

The common process of a municipal courthouse case can be complicated. The following material is an overview of the steps involved in a typical municipal court matter.

First Step: Issuance of Summons

A summons is issued when someone has been charged with violating a town ordinance or state law. The citizen who has received the summons will need to show up at their assigned time and courthouse, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to answer for the charge(s) against them. If they don’t 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: Appearance 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 Wardell, 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 Wardell Municipal Court. 

A violation is a crime that carries a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor charge 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 courthouses vary depending on the severity of an charges. 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.

Wardell Municipal Court Records

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

Common Questions ABOUT the Wardell Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Wardell, Missouri?

In Missouri, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal matters 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 Wardell, 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 Wardell Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Missouri?

A municipal court judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until retirement. Judges are commonly elected by the people with each precinct’s results weighted according to population. Municipal judges are generally not attorneys but have some legal training and must finish several hours of continuing material every year to maintain their credentials.