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Contacting Local Courts

July 13th, 2011 · No Comments

Most citizens’ encounters with the legal system take place at the local level, often as a result of a traffic ticket. If you don’t live in the area and don’t know where to find the courthouse or court clerk’s office, how do you find it? What if the information was on that traffic ticket that you misplaced?

CourtReference can help. We provide contact information for all levels of trial courts, from the county’s highest trial court that hears capital murder and complex commercial cases to the village municipal court that hears speeding and town ordinance violations.

Some states include municipal courts in their unified judicial systems, and provide contact information for all courts in the system. Most do not. Some counties provide directories of local court officials. Most do not. When it’s available, we check that information to make sure it’s current.

We previously reviewed New Jersey municipal court consolidation, and how that affects court locations and contact information. We also reviewed New York Town and Village Courts and how we monitor and update their locations. Louisiana, like New York, has City Courts that are part of the state system and other local courts that are not. Louisiana towns and villages have Mayor’s Courts (sometimes called Magistrate Courts), just like New York’s Town and Village Courts. Louisiana also has Justice of the Peace Courts that serve parts of each parish (Louisiana parishes are equivalent to counties in other states).

Like New York’s Town and Village Courts, Louisiana municipal courts generally have one clerk and one justice or magistrate. Caddo Parish is a good example of the array of municipal courts: a City Court with a full staff and website, and many Justice of the Peace Courts and Mayor’s and Magistrate Courts. Note that only three of the 19 lower courts have websites.

Most City Courts have websites. Most lower municipal courts do not, although more are being added all the time. If a municipal court website exists, we provide a link. The court website has the most current contact information, and often includes additional useful information such as hours, court calendars, personnel, and procedures.

Contact information changes more frequently for municipal courts than for higher courts, because the contact information for some municipal court clerks and judges is their residence. Some town or village offices (aka Town Halls) are only open a few hours or days each week. The courtroom may only be staffed when court is in session one evening each week. In those situations, local court clerks and judges may be most easily reached at their homes or home offices. When the court official changes due to an election or resignation, the contact information can also change.

When the best municipal court contact information is Town Hall or Village Hall, it may be the phone number of the city clerk who also serves as court clerk. It may be the Police Department, where a deputy serves as court clerk. Court may be held at Town Hall, the Police Department, the school auditorium, or some other suitable room. If the mailing address is different than the physical address, we provide both.

CourtReference does the research to determine the best available location and contact information for every court, so you don’t have to.

VanB

Tags: Courtreference.com · Louisiana · New Jersey · New York · states · Uncategorized

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