A municipal court is a court with restrictive area of authority over criminal charges and civil disputes inside its location. These courts can be located at the city or county level.
Westfield Municipal Court INformation
Court: Westfield Municipal Court
Address: “425 East Broad Street, Westfield, NJ 07090”
State: New Jersey
What is the purpose of the Westfield Municipal Court?
Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they handle minor criminal charges, civil disputes, and traffic violations. Courts like Westfield 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, personal injury, more serious criminal infractions, or contract disputes.
County courthouses have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil matters that can’t exceed the amount of $15,000, while the circuits courts handle felonies and more expansive civil cases.
TYPES OF affairs adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Westfield, New Jersey
Municipal courts are the lowest level 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 help their citizens or to save money on overhead costs. The cases 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.
You will not see a set definition for what constitutes a misdemeanor versus a felony case, 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’s the process for cases in the municipal court in Westfield?
Judges preside over hearings to determine:
- Probable cause for an arrest
- Set bail amounts and 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
- start preliminary examinations to learn if there is enough evidence to mount a charge
The typical process of a Municipal Court matter
First Step: Issuance of Summons
Step Two: Appearance before Judge or Magistrate
Municipal Court Penalties in Westfield, NJ
Penalties change often, which is why it’s best to speak with licensed lawyer near you. The information below represents common penalties, but may not be accurate for the Westfield Municipal Court.
A violation is a crime that has a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor crime can carry penalties up to $1,000.00 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 license for it then you could be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.
Westfield 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 matter they have before the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what kind of of information is needed by law to be available.
Questions ABOUT the Westfield Municipal Court
What is municipal court in Westfield, New Jersey?
In New Jersey, the municipal court is a lower level with civil and criminal matters within a town or municipality. Municipal courts thus have a small jurisdiction and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty charges and misdemeanor charges.
What does the municipal court handle in Westfield, New Jersey?
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 deal with by higher authorities.
How many judges does the Westfield 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 courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until retirement. Judges are sometimes elected by precincts with each precinct’s results evaluated based on population. Municipal judges are often not lawyers but have some legal training and must complete multiple hours of continuing education every year to maintain their licenses.