What is the Municipal Court?
The Municipal Court is a local court created by state law, whose territory is confined to the community in which it is located. Practice and procedures are governed by New Jersey Court Rules. The Municipal Court Judge is responsible for overseeing the administration of his or her Municipal Court. The Assignment Judge of the Superior Court is responsible for overseeing the administration of all of the Municipal Courts in the counties.
There are 20 Municipal Courts in Atlantic County and 15 in Cape May County. Each municipality appoints its own Municipal Court Judge. Other court personnel may include a Court Director, Court Administrator, Deputy Court Administrator, Violations Clerk, and Sound Recorder.
What Types of Cases are Heard in the Municipal Court?
Cases heard in Municipal Court are divided into four general categories:
- Violations of motor vehicle and traffic law
- Violations of disorderly and petty disorderly persons offenses
- Violations of fish and games laws, parks and forests, weights and measures, SPCA, and boating regulations
- Violations of municipal ordinances (local laws)
More serious offenses, known as indictable offenses, are arraigned in Municipal Court but then sent to the County Prosecutor's Office. The County Prosecutor decides whether to present the case to a Grand Jury or to return the case to the Municipal Court as a less serious offense (a downgrade).
We will be happy to help you if we can. However, we are allowed to help you only in certain ways, since we want to be fair to everyone in a case. This is a list of some things the court staff can and cannot do for you. Please read it carefully before asking the court staff for help.
- explain and answer questions about how the court works.
- tell you what the requirements are to have your case considered by the court.
- give you some information from your case file.
- provide you with samples of court forms that are available.
- provide you with guidance on how to fill out forms.
- usually answer questions about court deadlines.
- give you legal advice. Only your lawyer can give you legal advice.
- tell you whether or not you should bring your case to court.
- give you an opinion about what will happen if you bring your case to court.
- recommend a lawyer, but we can provide you with the information for a lawyer referral service.
- talk to the judge for you about what will happen in your case.
- let you talk to the Judge outside of court.
- change an order issued by a judge.
We look forward to helping you in accordance with these guidelines.