West Cape May Municipal Court – West Cape May, NJ

by | Oct 26, 2021

A municipal court is a court with small area of authority over criminal charges and civil matters inside its location. These courts can be found at the city or county level.

West Cape May Municipal Court INformation

Court: West Cape May Municipal Court
Address: “732 Broadway, West Cape May, NJ 08204”
Phone: 609-884-1005 ext. 111

City: West Cape May
County: Cape May
State: New Jersey

What is the purpose of the West Cape May Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they work with minor criminal charges, civil cases, and traffic matters. Courts like West Cape May 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, accident cases, more serious criminal charges, or lawsuits.

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

TYPES OF CASES HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in West Cape May, New Jersey

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 locales share municipal courts with other municipalities.

This can be done to better service their population or to save money on overhead costs. The cases that will be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic crimes, small criminal charges and code violations.

You will not find a standard for what constitutes a misdemeanor crime versus a felony charge, 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 West Cape May?

Municipal courts are the first tier of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic tickets, 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 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.

Judges preside over hearings to determine:

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

The usual process of a Municipal Court Case

The common path of a municipal courthouse case can be difficult to navigate. The following is an overview of the most common steps involved in a regular municipal court case.

Step One: An Issuance of Summons

A summons is given when an individual has been charged with violating a town ordinance or state law. The individual who has received the summons from the court will need to be present at their assigned time and location, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to answer for the charge(s) against them. If they fail to appear, they may be found guilty in absentia and could be fined up to $1,000.00 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 West Cape May, NJ

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 West Cape May Municipal Court. 

A violation is an offense that carries a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor charge can carry penalties up to $1,000.00 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 courthouses 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 could be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.

West Cape May Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal government may be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one place or system. The records that a person might need to depend on the matter they have before 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 West Cape May Municipal Court

What is municipal court in West Cape May, New Jersey?

In New Jersey, the municipal court is a lower court with civil and criminal jurisdiction within a town or municipality. Municipal courts have a small jurisdiction and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty crimes and misdemeanor crimes.

What does the municipal court handle in West Cape May, New Jersey?

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. Serious cases/crimes are deal with by higher authorities.

How many judges does the West Cape May Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in New Jersey?

A municipal court judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set term of years or until retirement. Judges are commonly chosen by the people with each precinct’s results judged based on population. Municipal judges are often not attorneys but have some legal training and must complete many hours of continuing courses every year to maintain their licenses.