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Municipal Court

Definition - What does Municipal Court mean?

A municipal court is a lower court with authority over minor criminal and civil matters in a city, town or village. These include some traffic and other misdemeanor offenses, and civil suits in which damages are capped at a certain amount.

These courts may be known by other names, and are governed by local court rules in some jurisdictions.

Justipedia explains Municipal Court

Funded by local governments, municipal courts are trial courts that sometimes hold jury trials and generally have the authority to hear certain criminal and civil matters. These include but are not limited to:

  • Criminal trespass
  • Domestic violence and related matters
  • Speeding
  • DUI
  • Bad checks
  • Some preliminary matters in felony cases
  • Landlord/tenant disputes, including evictions
  • Small claims
  • Violations of local ordinances

As a result, these are the courts that most people are likely to be familiar with.

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