Municipal Court

For many Americans residing in New Jersey and beyond, their first exposure to the justice system often takes place in a certain type of court called a municipal court.  A municipality can be a city, township, or borough.  Whichever may be the case, each municipality in New Jersey operates and maintains its own municipal court.  In Pennsylvania, the legal needs of multiple municipalities may be served by one district court.

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How Municipal Court is Different

To put it in simple terms, the most fundamental difference between municipal court and other types of courts is the severity of the crimes which are handled by each.  Municipal courts are relegated to hearing relatively minor, localized cases.  Some types of cases which are commonly heard in municipal courts in New Jersey and Pennsylvania include:

  • Traffic Violations
  • DWI
  • Parking Tickets
  • Municipal Ordinance Offenses (e.g. building code violations)
  • Disorderly Persons

A trial over a 1st Degree murder case, for example, would not take place in municipal court.

Municipal courts are relatively “minor” not only in terms of the case types they service, but in terms of authority and formality as well.  Regarding the reach of their authority, municipal courts only have jurisdiction within their municipality.  The procedures which take place within municipal court tend to be somewhat informal, although this can vary from court to court and even from judge to judge. 

While municipal court cases are often seemingly secondary relative to those heard in Superior Court regarding serious criminal matters, the consequences of a municipal court case can nonetheless be substantial.  A municipal court has the ability to impose substantial fines, suspend driving and registration privileges, and even sentence a defendant to jail.  Therefore, a case being heard in municipal court is not a matter which should be taken lightly.

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Municipal Court Locations in New Jersey

Atlantic City

Atlantic County Civil Court Building
1201 Bacharach Boulevard
Atlantic City, NJ 08401
609-345-6700

Camden

Camden County Hall of Justice
101 South Fifth Street
Camden, NJ 08103
856-379-2200

Jersey City

Hudson County Administration Building
595 Newark Avenue
Jersey City, NJ 07306
201-795-6000

Newark

Essex County Veterans Courthouse
50 West Market Street
Newark, NJ 07102
973-693-5701

Trenton

Mercer County Courthouse
400 South Warren Street
Trenton, NJ 08608
609-571-4000

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Municipal Court Locations in Pennsylvania

Philadelphia Municipal Court – Civil Division
1319 The Juanita Kidd Stout Center for Criminal Justice
1301 Filbert Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 683-7253

Philadelphia Municipal Court – Criminal Division
208 The Juanita Kidd Stout Center for Criminal Justice
1301 Filbert Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 683-7290

Maselli Warren, P.C. represents its clients in the defense of all municipal court matters.  Our attorneys are familiar with the processes of municipal courts and, when appropriate, may utilize motion practice to seek the dismissal of a charge even before there is a hearing.  Depending on the nature of the charge and the location of the case, Maselli Warren represents municipal court clients on a flat fee or hourly rate basis.  If you would like to speak with an attorney about your municipal court case, call the law offices of Maselli Warren at (800) 891-2657, or contact us online to request a legal consultation.