So, you've been notified to appear in court. What should you expect and plan for?
First, show up on time at City Hall no later than 8:00 a.m. on the Saturday of your court date. City Hall doors on court days generally open by 7:30 a.m. and start promptly at 8:00 a.m. If you are not signed in by the time court starts, a warrant may be issued for your arrest.
are strictly prohibited (and inappropriate) for court appearances. This
is a professional business setting dealing with serious legal
matters. Show respect for yourself, the court, and others by dressing in
appropriate attire. Your effort - or lack thereof - will be noted.
Wait for 8:00 AM Roll Call
a seat in the Chambers, or wait patiently in the overflow in the
hallway. This is a good time to silence your cell phones and, if you're
wearing a hat, remove it out of respect for the court.
a few minutes, the Court Clerk will call roll to see if you're there.
If you don't hear your name, or are worried you may have missed your
name, politely approach the Court Clerk to verify your name is on the
list, or docket.
Wait Your Turn
calling the docket, the municipal judge will start court. This is the
part where you'll need to be patient. The judge will work through the
docket depending on attendance that day and the nature of those cases.
Your case will come up as quickly as possible, but in the meanwhile
you're going to have to wait.
you wait, you need to be respectful of the court proceedings by being
quiet. The bailiff will remove disruptions. If you have a question while
you wait, discreetly approach the court clerk. Otherwise, shush.
Enter a Plea
it's your turn, the judge will call you forward to adjudicate (hear and
decide) your case. You will be asked to enter a plea - guilty, not
guilty, or no contest.
you plead guilty or no contest, the judge will assess sentencing which
could include fines, fees, jail time, probation, house arrest, community
service, and/or restitution, depending on the charges.
Respond to Charges
you plead not guilty, the City Prosecutor will present the facts and
evidence of the case. The judge will cue you when it's your opportunity
to respond to the charges. After hearing the evidence and arguments, the
judge will give the ruling and, if necessary, sentencing.
sentencing, the judge will establish arrangements for payment of the
fine, court fees, and restitution. Anticipate this possibility and be
prepared to handle it or address it. We accept cash,
cashier's check, VISA and MasterCard, payable at the first floor Finance
Then, depending on the outcome of your case, you're free to go. Court is normally done around 11:00 a.m.
If you have any questions afterward, call the Court Clerk at (620) 257-2320