Water Valley Municipal Court – Water Valley, MS

by | Oct 26, 2021

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

Water Valley Municipal Court INformation

Court: Water Valley Municipal Court
Address: “PO Box 888, Water Valley, MS 38965”
Phone: 662-473-2431

City: Water Valley
County: Yalobusha
State: Mississippi

What is the role of the Water Valley Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they deal with minor crimes, civil matters, and traffic matters. Courthouses like Water Valley Municipal Court are the first level of court for these types of cases.

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 family law matters, personal injury cases, more serious criminal infractions, or contract disputes.

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

TYPES OF Legal Matters adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Water Valley, Mississippi

Municipal courts are the lowest 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 population or to save money on expenditures. The cases that may be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic tickets, criminal misdemeanors and code infractions.

There is no set definition for what makes a misdemeanor charge 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 Water Valley?

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. Matters are managed by a magistrate who is usually a lawyer, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council members to assist for a specific period of time.

Judges administer hearings to determine:

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

The usual process of a Municipal Court matter

The common path of a municipal court case can be tricky. The following is an overview of the most common steps involved in a typical municipal court matter.

First Step: Issuance of Summons

A summons is given when someone has been charged with violating a city rule or state law. The citizen who has received the summons from the court 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 come, they may be found guilty anyways and could be fined up to $1,000.00 or sentenced to jail time 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 Water Valley, MS

Penalties change often, which is why it’s good to speak with licensed lawyer. The information below represents common penalties, but may not be accurate for the Water Valley Municipal Court. 

A violation is a crime that has a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor charge can have 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 crimes in municipal courts vary depending on the severity of an offenses. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a medical prescription for it then you will be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.

Water Valley Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal court could be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one place 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 present.

Common Questions ABOUT the Water Valley Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Water Valley, Mississippi?

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

What does the municipal court handle in Water Valley, Mississippi?

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 Water Valley Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Mississippi?

A municipal courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until retirement. Judges are commonly elected by precincts with each precinct’s results evaluated according to the number of people. Municipal magistrates are generally not lawyers but have some legal education and must finish several hours of continuing material every year to maintain their credentials.