Winthrop Municipal Court – Winthrop, WA

by | Oct 28, 2021

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

Winthrop Municipal Court INformation

Court: Winthrop Municipal Court
Address: “208 Riverside Avenue, PO Box 459, Winthrop, WA 98862”
Phone: 509-996-2320

City: Winthrop
County: Okanogan
State: Washington

What is the role of the Winthrop Municipal Court?

Municipal Courts are often called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they work with minor criminal charges, civil cases, and traffic matters. Courthouses like Winthrop Municipal Court are the first level of court for this group of matters.

In other situations, 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, personal injury cases, more serious criminal infractions, or lawsuits.

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

TYPES OF CASES seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Winthrop, Washington

Municipal courts are the lowest level of courthouses in the United States. 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 service their people or to save money on administrative costs. The matters that may be heard by a municipal court vary depending on the municipality, but typically include traffic crimes, low level criminal charges and code infractions.

You will not find a standard for what constitutes a misdemeanor crime versus a felony charge, 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

how are cases managed in the municipal court in Winthrop?

Municipal courts are the first level of the court system in the United States. They have jurisdiction over minor crimes, traffic violations, and other civil matters. Municipal courts are have often been called 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 members to serve for a specific period of time.

Judges preside over hearings to determine:

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

The common process of a Municipal Court Case

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

First Step: An Issuance of Summons

A summons is sent when a person has been charged with violating a local ordinance or state law. The citizen who has received the summons from the court will need to appear at their assigned time and location, which is usually the municipal courtroom, to respond for the charge(s) against them. If they don’t show up, 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: 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 Winthrop, WA

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

A violation is a crime that has a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor charge can have 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 offenses. For example, if you are caught with marijuana without having a prescription for it then you could be fined up to $2k or spend up to six months in jail.

Winthrop Municipal Court Records

Municipal Court records from a municipal government may be difficult to find because they are not always stored in one place or system. The records that a person might need to depend on the type of case they have in front of the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what type of information is required by law to be available.

Common Questions ABOUT the Winthrop Municipal Court

What is municipal court in Winthrop, Washington?

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

What does the municipal court handle in Winthrop, 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. Serious cases/crimes are handled by higher authorities.

How many judges does the Winthrop Municipal Court have?

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

How are cases heard in municipal courts in Washington?

A municipal courthouse judge may be either elected or appointed to serve for a set duration or until they retire. Judges are commonly elected by the people with each precinct’s results judged based on population. Municipal judges are generally not lawyers but have some legal education and must complete multiple hours of ongoing material every period to maintain their licenses.