West Hamlin Municipal Court – West Hamlin, WV

by | Oct 28, 2021

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

West Hamlin Municipal Court INformation

Court: West Hamlin Municipal Court
Address: “PO Box 221, West Hamlin, WV 25571”
Phone: 304-824-3055

City: West Hamlin
County: Lincoln
State: West Virginia

What is the role of the West Hamlin Municipal Court?

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

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

County courthouses 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 cases.

TYPES OF CASES HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in West Hamlin, West Virginia

Municipal courts are the bottom rung of courts in the United States. 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 assist their population or to save money on expenditures. The matters that will be heard by a municipal court vary depending on the municipality, but typically include traffic tickets, low level criminal charges and code infractions.

You will not see a set definition for what makes a misdemeanor versus a felony charge, but generally speaking felonies would require more time in jail than misdemeanor charges 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 Hamlin?

Municipal courts are the lowest 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 managed by a magistrate who is usually an attorney, judge, or retired judge. Magistrates may be appointed by the mayor or city council board to serve for a specific time.

Judges manage hearings to determine:

  • Probable cause for 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 locations
  • Conduct preliminary examinations to determine if there is enough evidence to mount a charge

The usual process of a Municipal Court matter

The process of a municipal court case can be difficult to navigate. The following material is an overview of the common items involved in a typical municipal court case.

First Step: An Issuance of Summons

A court summons is issued when someone has been charged with violating a city ordinance or state law. The person 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 $1k 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 West Hamlin, WV

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

A violation is a crime that carries a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor can possess 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 charges in municipal courthouses vary depending on the severity of an charges. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a prescription for it then you will be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

West Hamlin Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal government may 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 type of case they have in front of the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what type of information is needed by law to be available.

Common Questions ABOUT the West Hamlin Municipal Court

What is municipal court in West Hamlin, West Virginia?

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

What does the municipal court handle in West Hamlin, West Virginia?

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. More serious cases/crimes are handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the West Hamlin Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in West Virginia?

A municipal courthouse 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 evaluated according to population. Municipal judges are often not attorneys but have some legal training and must finish many hours of continuing courses every period to maintain their licenses.