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Municipal Law

Municipal law includes the municipal code, ordinances, and other regulations, along with bylaws that are established by a governing body within the municipality. The purpose of municipal law is to run the municipality smoothly and to maintain public order.

Violations of municipal law can subject people to various penalties such as fines and/or jail time. It is important to understand that ignorance of local ordinances is not accepted as an excuse for violation.

One Law Group, S.C. attorneys provide representation in disputes arising from municipal law violation and government activities in the following areas:

  • Alcohol Beverage License
  • Assessment and Property Tax
  • Board of Review
  • Land Division
  • Nonconforming Property
  • Open Meeting and Records
  • Ordinance Violations
  • Zoning
One Law Group, S.C. also provides representation and legal services to municipalities for many areas of law, including but not limited to the following:

  • Chapter 51 Mental Health Commitments
  • Employment Law
  • Advisement to local governing bodies & committees thereof
  • Representation in local Municipal Court

Frequently Asked Questions

What is municipal court?
A municipal court is a court established in a local community to administer the laws that the community passes to govern itself. This type of court is sometimes called a city court. Municipal courts are limited in jurisdiction because they are not allowed to take up any issue involving national law or to handle anything except what has been assigned to it by local law. No record of the proceedings in a municipal court hearing is kept, and parties have limited rights to appeal final decisions to a higher court.

What offenses are tried in municipal court?
Civil infractions and criminal misdemeanors that affect the quality of life in a local community, such as traffic and noise violations, are the types of offenses that are typically tried in a municipal court. A municipal court is a court of limited jurisdiction that is allowed to handle only the offenses assigned to it by local law or ordinance. The scope of authority of a municipal court varies by jurisdiction.

How do I get copies of municipal court records?
Municipal court records, including city and county municipal court records, are generally available and open to the public. To obtain these records, you must file the appropriate paperwork with the court clerk in the county or city municipal court where the records were filed. There is usually a copying and research fee associated with requests for municipal court records and notarized copies of the record may cost extra. Some records may be considered as sealed, or unavailable, to public use.

The most common requests for municipal court records include requests for criminal histories, birth certificates, marriage certificates, and death certificates. Depending upon your location, these records may be available through the municipal court at a city or county level, or they may be administered by another regional or national agency.

What does a municipal court clerk do?
A municipal clerk is in charge of record keeping and administrative duties for a local or regional government office. Clerks may work for a court or city council, and are often employed to keep track of meetings and reports. City or regional services may also be administered by a municipal clerk, and clerks are often in charge of distributing various licenses and registrations to the general public.

When working in a courtroom, a clerk is typically in charge of organizing the court's schedule and preparing the docket. Depending on the size of the local court, all forms and paperwork involved with the court's proceedings may be handled by a municipal clerk. This includes making copies of files and maintaining court records. Day to day actives within the court are also managed by municipal clerks.

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