A municipal court is a court with small area of authority over criminal charges and civil disputes inside its geographic area. These courts can be located at the city or county level.
Westport Municipal Court INformation
Court: Westport Municipal Court
Address: “604 N Montesano Street, PO Box 1208, Westport, WA 98595”
County: Grays Harbor
What is the role of the Westport Municipal Court?
Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” Which means that they deal with minor crimes, civil matters, and traffic incidents. Courthouses like Westport 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 family law matters, accident cases, more serious criminal charges, or lawsuits.
County courthouses have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil matters that can not exceed the amount of $15,000.00, while the circuits courts handle felony matters and more expansive civil matters.
TYPES OF Matters HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Westport, Washington
Municipal courts are the entry level of courts in the U.S.. 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 help their people or to save money on overhead costs. The cases that may be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic violations, low level 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 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 Westport?
Judges preside over hearings to determine:
- Probable cause for an arrest
- Set bail amounts and terms of release
- Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against suspects by police officers
- Distribute search warrants to police officers in order to seize evidence from crime locations
- start preliminary inquiries to establish if there is enough evidence to charge
The usual process of a Municipal Court Case
Step One: Issuance of Summons
Second Step: Show Up before Judge or Magistrate
Municipal Court Penalties in Westport, WA
Penalties change often, which is why it’s good to speak with licensed lawyer near you. The material below represents common penalties, but may not be accurate for the Westport Municipal Court.
A violation is an offense that carries a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor crime can have 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 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.
Westport Municipal Court Records
Municipal Court records from a municipal court could 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 matter they have in front of 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 Westport Municipal Court
What is municipal court in Westport, Washington?
In Washington, the municipal court is a lower level with civil and criminal jurisdiction within a town or municipality. Municipal courts will have a small jurisdiction and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty offenses and misdemeanor charges.
What does the municipal court handle in Westport, Washington?
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 Westport Municipal Court have?
The count of judges depends on the municipality’s size.
How are cases heard in municipal courts in Washington?
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 precincts with each precinct’s results evaluated according to population. Municipal magistrates are often not attorneys but have some legal training and must finish several hours of ongoing education every period to maintain their credentials.