Rules & Procedures
Since most people are concerned about appearing in court, here are rules and procedures to help you understand how the court functions.
- The court has jurisdiction of traffic and non-traffic ordinances in this municipality.
- You have a right to be represented by an attorney, or you may go ahead without one.
- If you want an attorney, you must retain one at your own expense.
- The court will not provide you with an attorney.
- If you are found Guilty of a traffic offense, in addition to any judgment made by the court, the State Department of Transportation may assess demerit points against your driving record, which may result in the suspension or revocation of your driving license.
- Any person holding a probationary license will be assessed double the demerit points for the second and all subsequent moving violations.
- Juveniles cited for traffic ordinance violations are subject to the same forfeitures and court procedures as adults.
- The Municipal Court has jurisdiction of persons between 12 and 16 years of age charged with non-traffic ordinance violations.
- Juveniles have the same rights as adults with respect to pleas.
- Juveniles have a right to a private (closed) hearing, but may waive this right.
- The court recommends that a parent or guardian be present with the juvenile.
- A juvenile found Guilty of a non-traffic ordinance violation is subject to a money judgment, order of restitution and/or a specified number of hours in a supervised work program, or other dispositions.If the juvenile fails to comply with the court's dispositional orders, his/her driver's, hunting, and fishing licenses may be suspended.If the offense is alcohol related, the driver's license of the defendant may be suspended regardless of payment.
- The prosecution will produce its witnesses to testify as to the facts and circumstances surrounding your case.
- You or your lawyer will be permitted to cross examine each witness.When the prosecution has completed its case, you and your witnesses will be given the opportunity to testify and will be subjected to cross examination by the prosecution.
- After all the evidence has been presented, the prosecution and the defense will be given an opportunity to summarize their respective cases to the court through brief argument.
- Thereafter, the court will determine whether you are Guilty or Not Guilty.If the court finds you Not Guilty, you will be discharged and the complaint against you dismissed.If you are found Guilty, the court will impose a penalty, taking into consideration the seriousness of the violation, the hazardous condition, if any that may have existed at the time, and your past record.If necessary, you may request time to pay the forfeiture and costs.
- If you are found Guilty after Trial, you have the right to appeal your case to the Portage County Circuit Court.
- All appeals must be filed in writing within twenty (20) days after judgment.If you fail to meet this time limit, you have lost your right to appeal.
- Appeal fee, forfeiture and costs must be posted upon filing the appeal.
- You have the right to a Jury Trial on appeal, upon payment of appropriate fees.