Washburn Municipal Court – Washburn, ND

Oct 26, 2021

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

Washburn Municipal Court INformation

Court: Washburn Municipal Court
Address: “PO Box 542, Washburn, ND 58577”
Phone: 701-462-8558

City: Washburn
County: McLean
State: North Dakota

What is the role of the Washburn Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they work with minor criminal charges, civil disputes, and traffic tickets. Courthouses like Washburn Municipal Court are the first level of court for this group of matters.

On the other hand, 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, injury cases, more serious criminal charges, or lawsuits.

County courts have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil matters that can’t exceed the amount of $15,000.00, while the circuits courts handle felony cases and larger civil cases.

TYPES OF Matters adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Washburn, North Dakota

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 serve their population or to save money on administrative costs. The matters that will be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic tickets, small criminal charges and code infractions.

There is no set definition for what establishes a misdemeanor crime versus a felony, 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

How are cases handled in the municipal court in Washburn?

Municipal courts are the entry level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic crimes, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are popularly known city courts or town courts. Cases are handled 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 period of time.

Magistrates administer hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for arrest
  • Set bail amounts and the conditions of release
  • Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against individuals by police officers
  • Issue search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to protect evidence from crime locations
  • Conduct preliminary examinations to establish if there is enough evidence to mount a charge

The usual process of a Municipal Court Case

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

First Step: Issuance of Summons

A summons is sent when someone has been charged with violating a city ordinance or state law. The individual who has received the summons from the court 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 don’t appear, they may be found guilty in absentia and could be fined up to $1k or given a jail sentence if it’s a serious enough offense.

Step Two: 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 Washburn, ND

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

A violation is a crime that carries a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor charge can possess penalties up to $1000 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 offenses 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 will be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

Washburn Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal court could 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 charge 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.

Questions ABOUT the Washburn Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Washburn, North Dakota?

In North Dakota, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal jurisdiction within a town 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 Washburn, North Dakota?

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 handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Washburn Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in North Dakota?

A municipal court judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set term of years or until retirement. Judges are commonly elected by the people with each precinct’s results judged based on the number of people. Municipal magistrates are often not attorneys but have some legal education and must finish several hours of continuing courses every period to maintain their credentials.