A municipal court is a court whose area of operation is limited to a specific municipality, county, community, or city. They are only mandated to preside over cases and offences which fall under their area of operation. Their main objectives are to administer justice in a manner considered fair, just and timely. They are also determined to protect the legal rights and liberties of citizens and protect the public interest.
The kind of cases presided over by the municipal courts include traffic citation cases, landlord tenant cases, civil cases valued up to $15,000, and all small claims complaints valued up to $3000 (Farrington, p. 673). There are several advantages of being involved in municipal courts. Some of the advantages are; these courts are less expensive compared to other courts. Their procedures tend to be less formal and are more user friendly. It is not easy for a person to be jailed by municipal courts except when the person fails to pay the fine charged.
They also quicken the delivery of justice to petty offences which would have delayed in other court systems. Municipal courts resolve civil disputes which require no court hearing therefore they enable people with small disputes to reach a compromise faster (Dunlap, p. 739). Municipal courts are presided over by judges who are qualified therefore fear of one’s case being handled by unqualified individuals is not there. The doctrine of judicial precedent is applied in municipal courts by the judge (Razin, para. 7). This doctrine ensures that proper decision is made concerning the case being handled.
Municipal courts have an appeal system should one of the parties feel unhappy with the decision passed. These courts offer legal representation to people with low income. Without the aid of municipal court, some cases involving boundaries take long before being resolved. It also ensures better enforcement of the law at the local level. Collection of fines from the court is made easier with municipal court. There is also a possibility of scheduling night sessions with municipal courts which eliminates piling of cases (Blank, Sheppard and Barnes, para. 7).
. Municipal courts also have some disadvantages. These courts are expensive. Most of the cases receive high fines as compared to fines offered in other courts. Trials take long unlike in other courts. The process involved in municipal courts is a bit complicated. Municipal courts are only operating during work days and these forces people to take some time off from their work to attend court hearings. The court set up of municipal courts may make someone feel uncomfortable when telling their story (Helling, para. 3). It may also scare persons who have never been to a court before.
Courts are created to help people but not to hurt them. In such courts even after winning the case, getting back your property or money is not assured. If you are not paid instantly or in installments as was agreed, the court can give an order called execution of judgment that will allow a local sheriff to try to collect for you at a small fee (Dunlap, p. 734). Conclusion Municipal courts have many advantages as compared to disadvantages. These courts brings legal services closer to the people, also ensures law enforcement at local levels.
In minor cases where court hearings are not necessary, municipal courts assist. Through such courts even people with low income are capable of getting legal representation. The few disadvantages of this court include uncomfortable set up, guarantee of getting your property back after ruling, and extra fees paid to court sheriffs. Works cited: Blank, Leland, Sheppard, Sallie and Barnes, Jack. A methodology for conducting municipal computerization studies, 2003. Retrieved on 8th February, 2010 from: http://www. sciencedirect. com/science?
_ob=ArticleURL&_udi=B6V9K-484N8S8-5&_user=10&_coverDate=12%2F31%2F1980&_rdoc=1&_fmt=high&_orig=search&_sort=d&_docanchor=&view=c&_searchStrId=1198406974&_rerunOrigin=google&_acct=C000050221&_version=1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=15df247e482ed7d8e52 2ec90cbf3ca6 Dunlap, Andrew. A speech delivered before the Municipal Court of the city of Boston, in defence of Abner Kneeland, on an indictment for blasphemy, January term, 1834 Harvard University, New York. Farrington, Dotti. Town seeks legislation to create municipal court, 2006.
Retrieved on 8th February, 2010 from: http://www. jamestownpress. com/news/2006-01- 19/Front_Page/Town_seeks_legislation_to_create_municipal_court. html Helling, Julie A. Specialized Criminal Domestic Violence Courts, 2005. Retrieved on 8th February, 2010 from: http://www. vaw. umn. edu/documents/helling/helling. html Razin, E. Municipal reform in the Tel Aviv metropolis: metropolitan government or metropolitan cooperation? 1996. Retrieved on 8th February, 2010 from: http://www. envplan. com/abstract. cgi? id=c140039