Preparing for Court
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.
Pajamas 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
Take 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.
In 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
After 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.
While 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
When 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.
If 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
If 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.
During 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 window.
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
Before you come to court, here are the things you should bring with you:
- Proper identification (driver's license, Kansas ID, passport)
- Your copy of the citation
- Appearance letter and/or court documents
- Any receipts regarding your case (i.e., bond receipts, cash bail receipts, etc.)
- Any documents which prove compliance with the judge's orders and/or sentencing
- Method of payment (money, credit card, debit card)
- Do not use nicknames or an alias. Use the same spelling as listed on documents related to the case and ensure spelling on the documents is correct. If they are not, please advise the court
- Provide the court with your current address
- Appropriate dress is required. No obscene slogans on clothing, hats, or cell phones. Shirt and shoes are required