Why You Shouldn’t Really Ignore a Municipal Court Summons

Posted September 8th, 2016 by .

Categories: Legal Topics.

municipal-court-summons-anthony-carboneYou might think of it as a simple traffic ticket.  Or, perhaps your neighbor has brought you to court for harassment.  However, a municipal court summons is nothing to ignore.  We’ll tell you the reasons why you should be concerned.

Let’s start with Mark Simmons.  He’s lived in the same house for a long time.  He never had a problem with his neighbors.  That is, until the Johnson family moved in next door.  They seemed to have a problem with the loudspeakers Mark placed outside to listen to music.

Mark was surprised when the police came to the house.  Mrs. Johnson had called to complain about the volume.  Mark agreed to turn the radio down, even though it was only 7:00 pm.  After all, it was never his intention to bother anyone.

It seemed like a non-issue.  The next evening, Mark put on the stereo to what he considered an acceptable level.  On the following day, Mark was surprised to receive mail from the local court. Shockingly, it contain a municipal court summons.  The neighbor made a citizen’s complaint charging Mark with harassment.

Somehow, the summons got buried in with the household bills.  Mark never wrote down the date and therefore did not appear in court.  He never received a second summons.  To his surprise, the police ultimately showed up on his doorstep.    They had a warrant for his arrest.  It was for failure to appear in municipal court.

Reasons to be Concerned about a Municipal Court Summons

As we demonstrated, the consequences of ignoring a municipal court summons can be alarming. In fact, it’s never a good idea to disregard any notice from any court.  It’s much smarter to seek the advice of an experienced attorney.

Some people are under the impression that it’s “only” the local court.  We suggest that you nix that idea.  If you’re under the impression that municipal court judges have little authority, here’s just ome things that they can order:

  • Driver’s license suspension or revocation
  • Fines, surcharges and fees
  • Incarceration
  • Referrals to programs for: anger management
  • Mandates to become involved in the New Jersey Intoxicated Driving Program (IDP)
  • Appropriate motor vehicle points according to offenses
  • Upgrade charges to a higher court
  • Community service referrals
  • Temporary restraining orders

All of the foregoing represent important considerations. Certainly, the fact that you can be arrested for non-appearance is paramount.

Contact Us

The Law Offices of Anthony Carbone has decades of experience handling traffic tickets, as well as harassment and simple assault cases.  If you have been charged with any of these offenses, we would like to provide you with assistance.  Contact us to discuss your legal options.

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