View random article

What Is Municipal Court?

Different court systems exist within a single state or country. These court systems differ in terms of the jurisdiction under their authority and the cases they may take on. The lowest court system or level is the municipal court, whose jurisdiction may encompass a community, city, municipality, or county.

A municipal court may only try cases that have occurred under its geographical territory and are considered by the state as minor offenses or misdemeanors. The state authorizes what minor civil or criminal cases a municipal court may try. The municipal court usually conducts business during the weekdays unless special circumstances dictate that business be conducted during weekends as well.

Most municipal courts operate as two departments working together. The administrative department involves court management and staffing. A chief judicial officer from the local judicial district works in tandem with the presiding judge that heads this department. The judicial department deals with the actual court trials and legal proceedings.

Typical municipal court cases involve evictions, parking violations and subsequent appeals, traffic arraignment, vandalism, trespassing, and small claims cases. Most of these court cases involve appeals from the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Major cases, especially those that deal with felonies, may be filed in a municipal court, but will eventually be referred and transferred to a higher court for legal proceedings to continue. There are few instances when a municipal court may handle major cases such as those involving probate, domestic violence, contract disputes, and the like. However, these instances are rare and only authorized by the state.

Featured in Life