The Resident magistrate court
It is established by section 3 (I) of the Magistrates Court Act, Cap 10, Laws of Kenya, as a sub-ordinate court.
The court is duly constituted when held by; the chief magistrate, senior principal magistrate, principal magistrate. Senior resident magistrate or the resident magistrate duly appointed by the Judicial service commission.
Under section 3(2) of the Magistrates Court Act, the court has jurisdiction through out Kenya. It exercises both original and appellate jurisdiction. It exercises jurisdiction in both civil and criminal cases.
• Criminal Jurisdiction
It exercises original and appellate jurisdiction in criminal cases. It has no appellate jurisdiction in civil cases.
When held by the Resident magistrate the maximum sentence it can impose is 24 strokes, 7 years imprisonment, or a fine not exceeding Kshs. 20,000. When held by the chief magistrate, senior principal magistrates, principal magistrate or senior resident magistrate, it has jurisdiction imposes any sentence as long as the court can try the offense.
• Appellate Jurisdiction
The court entertains criminal appeals from the District Magistrates Court 3rd class.
• Civil Jurisdiction
The courts civil jurisdiction is subject to pecuniary or monetary limitations.
Court Value of subject matter
Chief magistrate 3,000,000
Senior principal magistrate 2,000,000
Principal magistrate 1,000,000
Senior resident magistrate 800,000
Resident magistrate 500,000
• The court has unlimited jurisdiction to entertain cases based on African customary law.