Municipal Court is held the first Thursday of the month at 9 a.m. Court is held at the American Legion located at 803 High Street unless otherwise noted. Please call the Municipal Court Clerk at 785-594-6821 if you have questions.
Your presence in Municipal Court is perhaps your first appearance in any court. The pages on this website dealing with Municipal Court have been prepared to help you understand the Court proceedings and to inform you of your rights and duties. We want every person to leave this Court feeling he or she has been treated fairly.
Municipal Court is the judicial branch of the city government. Traffic infractions and violations of City Code are tried in Municipal Court, and upon conviction carry a maximum fine of $1,500 and a possible jail term.
Trials are conducted under the Code of Criminal Procedure, Code for Municipal Courts and the Kansas Rules of Evidence as adopted by the Kansas Legislature.
Right to Attorney
In all cases in the Municipal Court, you may have an attorney represent you. When you are charged with an offense that may result in jail time as part of your sentence, you will need to decide whether you want to continue with or without an attorney.
If you desire an attorney, and if the Court finds you do not have the means to hire one, the Court will consider appointing an attorney to represent you. If you decide to proceed without an attorney the Judge will ask you to sign a waiver of counsel form.
Before Court Begins
You must decide upon and enter a plea to the charge against you. If you signed a citation in front of an officer, you did not plead guilty, but only signed a promise to appear in court on your appearance date.
There are three possible pleas to a complaint:
- No Contest
- Not Guilty
Your decision on what plea to enter is the most important decision you will have to make.
We suggest that you read the explanation of all three pleas before entering your plea.
When you appear in court you will be required to obey the following rules:
- All purses, bags, briefcases, etc. are subject to search.
- Appropriate clothing and shoes will be worn.
- Cell phones or pagers must be placed on silent mode. Violators may be held in contempt of court.
- Food and drinks are not allowed in the courtroom.
- No weapons, knives, mace, or pointed objects will be permitted in the courtroom. If you have any of these items they will need to be left in your car or at home.
- There will be no smoking in any city building.
- The wearing of hats or caps is not allowed in the courtroom.
- While the court is in session, talking is not allowed, except with authorized personnel.
Plea of Guilty
By a plea of guilty you admit that you committed the act charged, that the act is prohibited by law and that you have no defense for your act. Before entering your plea of guilty you need to understand the following:
- If you were involved in a traffic accident at the time of alleged offense, your plea of guilty could be used later in a civil suit for damages as an admission by you that you were at fault or were the party responsible for the accident.
- The city has the burden of proving its case against you. You have the right to hear the city’s evidence and to require it to prove its case when you go to trial. The law does not require you to prove anything.
Plea of No Contest
A plea of no contest simply means that you do not wish to contest the City’s charge against you, but wish to talk to the Judge about mitigating circumstances. Judgment will be entered by the Judge and some penalty will be set. A plea of No Contest cannot be used against you in a civil suit for damages.
Plea of not guilty
A plea of not guilty means that you are informing the Court that you deny guilt and that the City must prove its charge against you.
If you plea not guilty you will need to decide whether to employ an attorney to represent you at trial. You may defend yourself, but no one else except an attorney may represent you. However, if you are a minor (under 18 years of age) one of your parents should be present.
If you defend yourself please consult the section of the website regarding the trial procedure and the manner of presenting your case. Under our American system of justice, all persons are presumed to be innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
On a plea of not guilty a trial is held and the city is required to prove all the allegations against you as contained in the formal complaint beyond a reasonable doubt before a verdict of guilty can be reached.