Municipal courts in New Jersey do not hear trails for high-level crimes, but they do serve an important role in handling charges, trials for minor offenses and traffic tickets, as well as other hearings related to criminal charges. If you are scheduled to appear in court at the Atlantic City Municipal Court, it is important to arrive at your hearing on time. If you have any questions about how to get into the courthouse, concerns about handicap accessibility, or you need to notify the court that you are sick or running late, it is vital to know how to contact the court. The Atlantic City criminal defense lawyers at the Law Offices of John J. Zarych explain how to contact the Atlantic City Municipal Courthouse.
What Cases Are Heard in Municipal Court in NJ?
If you’re not sure which court you are supposed to go to for your case, it is important to understand what the Municipal Courts do and what kinds of cases they hear. These courts are not the primary trial courts for criminal cases, but your criminal case may include a hearing at the Municipal Court. Our criminal defense lawyers explain.
The Municipal Courts in New Jersey are the lowest level of court and are usually found in many large towns and cities throughout the state. Different townships have their own Municipal Court, which are separate from the county Superior Courts located in each county.
Municipal courts are courts of “limited jurisdiction,” as opposed to courts of “general jurisdiction.” That means that these courts are set up to hear specific types of cases or hold specific types of hearings. Most cases that come through Municipal Courts will be one of the following:
- Parking and traffic tickets
- Minor crimes (typically disorderly persons offenses)
- Local ordinance violations
This means that speeding tickets and citations for offenses like disorderly conduct or simple assault may be handled in these courts. Other violations, such as fishing or hunting violations, may also go to these courts.
Municipal courts are the first court where more serious crimes are filed, but trails for these cases are not typically held there. If your charges are reduced, the case may be sent back to the Municipal Court, so you may ultimately end up in Municipal Court instead of the Superior Court at the county courthouse.
Atlantic City Municipal Court Contact Info and Location
The Atlantic City Municipal Court is located in Atlantic City on Atlantic Avenue. Its precise address is
2715 Atlantic Avenue,
Atlantic City, NJ 08401
You can find this court near the corner of Atlantic Avenue and Iowa Avenue. The court is located inside the Public Safety Building on the second floor, so it may not be clear that this is a courthouse based on the building’s name and signage.
You can contact the courthouse by phone at either of the following numbers:
- (609) 347-5560
- (609) 347-5470
In addition, the court has an administrative fax number if you need to send them any documents or records: (609) 343-3749.
Criminal court and traffic court sessions usually take place from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm with an hour lunch break from 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm, Monday through Thursday. There is no court on Fridays or holidays.
Contacting the Courthouse for Help with Your Case
When you call any courthouse, it is important to understand what they can and cannot do for you. First, it is important to remember that court administrators, judges, and any other court employees do not represent you on your case. If you need help and want someone to represent you, call a lawyer instead. The best that most court employees can do to help you with your case is to refer you to the public defender’s office or a referral service to see if you can get representation. However, if you can choose your own attorney, it may be better to call an attorney of your choice for personal legal advice and representation.
The court may be able to look up court records for you and give you information about your case, but it is typically expected that you have the information about when and where you need to appear. This information will be listed on your summons or charging documents, but an attorney can help you decipher confusing orders. The court can also help you with information on deadlines, but they may not understand the full circumstances of your case and their information may not be something you should rely on.
The courthouse employees also will not typically let you speak to a judge or talk to you about the circumstances of your case. They will also be unable to listen to complaints about the outcome of a case or the amount you owe in fines. Instead, let an attorney represent you before the court and file the appropriate documents to present your case to the court.
Call Our Atlantic City Criminal Defense Attorneys for Legal Advice
If you are going to court for criminal charges, you cannot rely on the court staff or judge to protect your rights or advocate for you. Instead, hire a South Jersey criminal defense attorney to represent you on your charges before the Municipal Court or any other New Jersey court. To schedule a free legal consultation on your case, contact the Law Offices of John J. Zarych today at (609) 616-4956 today.