A municipal court is a court with limited area of authority over criminal charges and civil disputes inside its location. These courts can be found at the county or city level.
Yakima Municipal Court INformation
Court: Yakima Municipal Court
Address: “Richard Zais Justice Center 200 S 3rd Street, Yakima, WA 98901”
What is the role of the Yakima Municipal Court?
Municipal Courts are commonly called “courts of limited jurisdiction.” This means that they deal with minor criminal charges, civil matters, and traffic incidents. Courthouses like Yakima 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 matters, personal injury, more serious criminal infractions, or breaches of contract.
County courthouses have the jurisdiction to deal with misdemeanors and civil actions that can not exceed the amount of $15,000.00, while the circuits courts handle felony matters and more expansive civil cases.
TYPES OF CASES seen IN A MUNICIPAL COURT in Yakima, Washington
Municipal courts are the bottom rung 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 assist their citizens or to save money on overhead costs. The matters that will be heard by a municipal court vary depending on the municipality, but typically include traffic tickets, criminal misdemeanors and code violations.
You will not see a set definition for what makes a misdemeanor crime 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 Yakima?
Magistrates 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 defendants by police officers
- Distribute search warrants to law enforcement officers in order to seize evidence from crime locations
- start preliminary examinations to understand if there is enough evidence to mount a charge
The typical process of a Municipal Court Case
Step One: Issuance of Summons
Second Step: Show Up before Judge or Magistrate
Municipal Court Penalties in Yakima, WA
Penalties change often, which is why it’s best to speak with licensed lawyer near you. The information below represents common penalties, but may not be 100% accurate for the Yakima Municipal Court.
A violation is an offense that has a penalty of $500 or below, while a misdemeanor can carry penalties up to $1000 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 charges 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 $2,000 or spend up to six months in jail.
Yakima 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 an individual might need to depend on the matter they have before the court, what stage it is at in the process, and what type of information is needed by law to be available.
Questions ABOUT the Yakima Municipal Court
What is municipal court in Yakima, Washington?
In Washington, the municipal court is a lower level with civil and criminal jurisdiction within a town or municipality. Municipal courts have a small jurisdiction and have limited authority as well, dealing only with petty offenses and misdemeanor crimes.
What does the municipal court handle in Yakima, Washington?
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. More serious cases/crimes are deal with by higher authorities.
How many judges does the Yakima Municipal Court have?
The number 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 they retire. Judges are sometimes chosen by precincts with each precinct’s results judged according to population. Municipal magistrates are generally not lawyers but have some legal education and must complete many hours of ongoing education every period to maintain their credentials.