Williamson Municipal Court – Williamson, WV

by | Oct 28, 2021

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

Williamson Municipal Court INformation

Court: Williamson Municipal Court
Address: “108 East 4th Avenue, PO Box 1517, Williamson, WV 25661”
Phone: 304-235-1510

City: Williamson
County: Mingo
State: West Virginia

What is the purpose of the Williamson Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they deal with minor criminal charges, civil matters, and traffic matters. Courthouses like Williamson 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, more serious criminal infractions, or lawsuits.

County courthouses have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil matters that won’t exceed the amount of $15,000, while the circuits courts handle felony matters and more expansive civil cases.

TYPES OF Matters adjudicated IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Williamson, West Virginia

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 service their population or to save money on administrative costs. The cases that may be heard by a municipal court vary depending on the municipality, but typically include traffic violations, low level criminal charges and code infractions.

There is no set definition for what constitutes a misdemeanor versus a felony, but generally speaking felonies would require more time in jail than misdemeanor crimes 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 Williamson?

Municipal courts are the lowest level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic tickets, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are often known as city courts or town courts. Matters 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 help for a specific time.

Magistrates administer hearings to determine:

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

The usual process of a Municipal Court Case

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

First Step: An Issuance of Summons

A court summons is sent when an individual has been charged with violating a city ordinance or state law. The person who has received the court summons will need to be present at their assigned time and courthouse, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to respond for the charge(s) against them. If they fail to 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.

Step Two: 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 individual. 

Municipal Court Penalties in Williamson, 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 100% accurate for the Williamson Municipal Court. 

A violation is a crime that carries a penalty of $500 or less, while a misdemeanor 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 crimes in municipal courthouses vary depending on the severity of an crimes. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a medical prescription for it then you will be fined up to $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.

Williamson Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal court may be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one location or system. The records that a person might need to depend on the type of case they have before the court, where it’s at in the process, and what type of information is needed by law to be present.

Questions ABOUT the Williamson Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Williamson, West Virginia?

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

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

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 Williamson Municipal Court have?

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

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 precincts with each precinct’s results weighted based on population. Municipal magistrates are often not attorneys but have some legal education and must complete several hours of ongoing courses every year to maintain their licenses.