Stockport Magistrates' Court is a 12 courtroom building located at the Courthouse in Edward Street, Stockport.
The Magistrates' Court currently holds the following courts:
- Magistrates' Courts - including all adult, youth and family work
- Crown Court - Manchester' Minshull Street Crown Court sit at Stockport 3 weeks per month
- County Court - Stockport County Court have additional hearings here one week per month
- Coroner - The Coroner's Court sit here three days per week.
The Magistrates' Court is responsible for dealing with 97% of all adult and youth criminal cases in England and Wales. They also refer the most serious cases on to the Crown Court.
Some crimes that are dealt with in the Magistrates' Court:
- Careless Driving
- Criminal Damage
Magistrates deal with other issues too, such as environment (which can cover fly-tipping to badger baiting, water pollution to stealing bluebells) and wildlife crime and fine enforcement. There are also cases brought by local authorities covering health and safety, food cleanliness, planning matters, school truancy.
Other prosecutions can include animal cruelty, copyright matters for videos, downloading music illegally, destroying special trees etc.
Magistrates (Justices of the Peace) are a vital part of the criminal justice system. They are local people who volunteer their services in order to administer local justice.
They are impartial and independent of the Police and Crown Prosecution Service, but receive training by the courts in matters of law and sentencing guidelines. Magistrates are not paid for their time (other than travelling expenses).
In court each bench of Magistrates (usually made up of three members) has a legally qualified Legal Adviser who sits with them, to advise on questions of law and procedure. The Legal Adviser takes no part in the decision making.
There are also District Judges who may sit in a Magistrates' Court instead of a bench.
District Judges are legally qualified and paid to carry out this function. They have the same powers as Magistrates but are sometimes used for more complex cases, or for long running cases where a Magistrate may not be able to attend each day.
All people who have to attend court as defendants or witnesses (including the victim) should receive a leaflet telling them where the Court is and explaining what is likely to happen.
If you are interested in becoming a Magistrate, you should be aged approximately 18 to 65 years, resident in the borough and / or working in Stockport.
There is a need for a balance in the number of Magistrates from various areas of Stockport, but especially from districts such as Adswood, Brinnington, Edgeley, Cheadle Heath, and Reddish – applications from any of these areas would be particularly welcome.
The Court Manager
Stockport Magistrates' Court
P O Box 155
Tel: 0161 477 2020
Fax: 0161 474 1115
Further information can be found on the Stockport Magistrates' Court page of the Justice website.