Whitewater Municipal Court – Whitewater, KS

by | Oct 26, 2021

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

Whitewater Municipal Court INformation

Court: Whitewater Municipal Court
Address: “201 South Elm, PO Box 149, Whitewater, KS 67154”
Phone: 316-799-2445

City: Whitewater
County: Butler
State: Kansas

What is the role of the Whitewater Municipal Court?

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

In other situations, the purpose of a county court is to deal with a large number of civil disputes within the respective region. Most cases involve family matters, personal injury cases, more serious criminal infractions, or contract disputes.

County courthouses have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil matters that can not exceed the amount of $15,000, while the circuits courts handle felonies and larger civil matters.

TYPES OF Legal Matters HEARD IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Whitewater, Kansas

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 population or to save money on costs. The matters that could be heard by a municipal court can change based on on the municipality, but typically include traffic tickets, 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 misdemeanor charges and fines may also be higher for felonies. Traffic violations usually result in points against your driver’s license as well

how are cases managed in the municipal court in Whitewater?

Municipal courts are the first level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic crimes, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are often known as 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 duration.

Magistrates preside over 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
  • Issue search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to secure evidence from crime scenes
  • start preliminary examinations to establish if there is enough evidence to issue a charge

The typical process of a Municipal Court matter

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

Step One: Issuance of Summons

A summons from the court is given when an individual has been charged with violating a town rule or state law. The citizen who has received the court 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 fail to appear, they may be found guilty in absentia and could be fined up to $1,000.00 or given a jail term if it’s a serious enough offense.

Step Two: Appearance 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 Whitewater, KS

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

A violation is an offense that has a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor can carry penalties up to $1k 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 charges in municipal courthouses vary depending on the severity of an crimes. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a license for it then you will be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.

Whitewater Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal court may 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 type of matter 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 present.

FAQs ABOUT the Whitewater Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Whitewater, Kansas?

In Kansas, the municipal court is a lower level with civil and criminal matters within a town or municipality. Municipal courts have a small area of influence and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty charges and misdemeanors.

What does the municipal court handle in Whitewater, Kansas?

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

How many judges does the Whitewater Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Kansas?

A municipal courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until they retire. Judges are sometimes chosen by the people with each precinct’s results evaluated based on the number of people. Municipal judges are generally not lawyers but have some legal training and must complete multiple hours of continuing education every year to maintain their credentials.