Magistrate FAQ

What is Magistrate Court?

Brian Jones Magistrate JudgeMagistrate Court is an informal court that offers a quick and inexpensive process to resolve complaints.   Many people that appear before Magistrate Court represent themselves.

What civil cases does the Magistrate Court preside over?

Some examples of civil cases that can be filed in Magistrate Court include:

  • Civil claims of less than $15,000
  • Dispossessory actions involving landlord-tenant cases (unlimited monetary jurisdiction)
  • Foreclosures
  • Garnishments
  • Issuance of summons

What criminal cases does the Magistrate Court preside over?

Some examples of criminal cases that are brought before the Magistrate Judge include:

  • Issuing arrest and search warrants
  • Conduction first appearance hearings
  • Setting bonds
  • Preliminary hearings
  • Extraditions
  • Warrant application hearings
  • Conducting trials for county ordinance violations
  • Misdemeanor deposit account fraud
  • Criminal trespass

The Magistrate Judge holds first appearance hearings daily for accused persons who are being held in jail. The Judge is required to advise the accused of his charges and inform him/her of their constitutional rights to remain silent, to be represented by an attorney, and the right for a preliminary hearing.