Appearing Before the Court
Your appearance in Municipal Court may be your first experience in any court. The following information has been prepared to help you understand the court proceedings and to inform you of your rights and obligations. Every person should leave this court feeling that he or she has had a fair and impartial opportunity to be heard.
The Municipal Court is the judicial branch of the county government and is a division of the state judicial system. You are afforded essentially the same rights in Municipal Court that exist in the Courts of the State of Missouri. Some of those rights are set forth below. If you find that you do not understand your rights, you should consult an attorney prior to making decisions about the proceeding against you.
The Municipal Court hears violations of County ordinances. The range of punishment can vary depending upon the offense charged, but it can never be more than a fine of $1,000 and/or a year in the county jail on any one offense.
Court Procedures & Manners
- Proper attire is required for a court appearance. Sleeveless shirts, shorts and/or hats are not suitable for court. Due to space limitations, only those who have business with the court should attend.
- Children are allowed in court. However, parents are required to ensure that they do not disrupt court proceedings. Disruptive or noisy children and their parents will be asked to leave.
- No food or beverages of any kind are allowed in the courtroom.
- Anyone violating Court rules or the directions of Court personnel may be asked to leave.
As the Judge enters the courtroom, please rise. Afterwards, please be seated. When your name is called, come forward and wait to be summoned before the Judge. The violations that you are alleged to have committed will be read and at that time you should be prepared to enter a plea as follows:
If this is your first appearance in court, you may also request a continuance to retain an attorney. Your decision on what plea to enter is a very important decision and crucial to the disposition of the case.
- Monday through Friday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (With the exception of court dates)
- Wednesday court date office hours: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Doors reopen at 5:30 p.m. for court.
- Thursday court date office hours: 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Court is normally held on the first and third Wednesdays of the month at 6 p.m., and the second and fourth Thursdays of the month at 9 a.m.