A municipal court is a court with limited area of authority over criminal offenses and civil disputes inside its geographic area. These courts can be located at the county or city tier.
Williston Municipal Court INformation
Court: Williston Municipal Court
Address: “City Hall, 22 E Broadway, PO Box 1306, Williston, ND 58802”
Phone: 701-577-8100 ext. 3
State: North Dakota
What is the role of the Williston Municipal Court?
Municipal Courts are routinely called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they handle minor crimes, civil cases, and traffic tickets. Courthouses like Williston 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 matters, accident cases, more serious criminal infractions, or breaches of contract.
County courthouses have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil matters that won’t exceed the amount of $15k, while the circuits courts handle felony matters and bigger civil cases.
TYPES OF Matters seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Williston, North Dakota
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 jurisdictions share municipal courts with other municipalities.
This can be done to better help their population or to save money on expenditures. The matters that will be heard by a municipal court depend on the municipality, but typically include traffic violations, low level crimes and code infractions.
You will not see a set definition for what establishes a misdemeanor charge versus a felony case, 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 Williston?
Magistrates administer hearings to determine:
- Probable cause for an arrest
- Set bail amounts and the conditions of release
- Conduct arraignment hearings when charges are filed against suspects by police officers
- Distribute search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to seize evidence from crime locations
- start preliminary inquiries to determine if there is enough evidence to issue a charge
The usual process of a Municipal Court matter
First Step: An Issuance of Summons
Step Two: Appearance before Judge or Magistrate
Municipal Court Penalties in Williston, ND
Penalties change often, which is why it’s best to speak with licensed attorney near you. The material below represents common penalties, but may not be 100% accurate for the Williston Municipal Court.
A violation is an offense that carries a penalty of $500 or less, 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 offenses in municipal courthouses vary depending on the severity of an offenses. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a license for it then you will be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.
Williston Municipal Court Records
Municipal Court records from a municipal government could be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one area or system. The records that an individual might need to depend on the type of matter they have before the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what type of information is required by law to be present.
Questions ABOUT the Williston Municipal Court
What is municipal court in Williston, North Dakota?
In North Dakota, 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 Williston, North Dakota?
Depending on the scope 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 Williston Municipal Court have?
The count of judges depends on the municipality’s population.
How are cases heard in municipal courts in North Dakota?
A municipal courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set term of years or until they retire. Judges are sometimes chosen by the people with each precinct’s results weighted based on the number of people. Municipal judges are generally not lawyers but have some legal education and must complete several hours of ongoing material every year to maintain their credentials.