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Understanding Municipal Court
Municipal Court1006 New Hampshire
Lawrence, Kansas 66044
Phone: (785) 832-6190
Fax: (785) 832-6199
Monday - Friday
8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Municipal Court at 1006 New Hampshire handles violations of city ordinances including traffic and parking violations within the city limits. The nonjudicial functions of the Municipal Court are under the direction of the City Attorney, and the supervision of the court manager.
A full-time Judge appointed by the City Manager presides over all court proceedings and is responsible for the adjudiciation of cases under applicable statutes and ordinances. The support staff consists of an Administrative Probation Officer, a Warrant/Probation clerk, a Senior Accounting Clerk, and five court clerks.
To pay citations, fines or court fees click here. Be sure to select State: Kansas; and Court: Lawrence Municipal Court
The probation division of the Lawrence Municipal Court establishes payment plans and manages a caseload of individuals with post-sentencing obligations.
The Administrative Probation Officer conducts pre-sentence investigations on defendants, which provides criminal history information to the Judge and City Prosecutor that may be pertinent in determining appropriate action or punishment. The probation officer meets with defendants who have been placed on probation or parole regularly to evaluate progress and assess the need for revised recommendations.
An arraignment is the first court appearance and is the scheduled time for a defendant to enter a plea.
At the arraignment you will be given the opportunity to enter a plea. You may enter a plea of guilty, not guilty or no contest.
- Pleading guilty means that you admit to committing the charged offense.
- Pleading not guilty means you deny guilt and that the city must prove in trial that the charges are true beyond a reasonable doubt.
- Pleading no contest means you do not wish to contest the city's charge. Once you plea no contest, the judge will find you guilty and impose a sentence. A plea of no contest is not an admission of fault and cannot be used against you in a civil suit.
- A Municipal Court Clerk may grant a one-time 2 week continuance, on a first appearance, prior to the scheduled court date.
- All other continuances are at the sole discretion of the presiding Municipal Court Judge. A Pro Se defendant may attempt to obtain a continuance, without appearing in court on their case(s), by filing A Pro Se Motion for Continuance (PDF, 69 KB) It is important to note that a defendant is not excused from an appearance until he or she has received an order of continuance signed by the presiding Municipal Court Judge.
If you have missed your scheduled court appearance you can add your name to the court docket any Mon-Fri, from 8am-8:15am
A listing of the Municipal Court docket types and times is available by clicking here.
Appealing a Conviction
Anyone found guilty in Municipal Court has the right to appeal the conviction to the District Court of Douglas County, Kansas.
You have 14 days after your conviction to file a "Notice of Appeal" at the Municipal Court office. An appeal bond of $94.50 is required at the time the notice is submitted.
Click here for a printable version of the Notice of Appeal (PDF, 6 KB)
Court Appointed Attorney
You have the right to be represented by an attorney on any jailable offense.
If you would like an attorney but cannot afford one, you are required to contact the Lawrence Municipal Court Clerk's office for further information.
You can then complete a Financial Affidavit to apply for a Court Appointed Attorney.
Click here for a printable version of the Financial Affidavit (PDF, 15 KB)
Request to Void/Dismiss a Citation
The Lawrence Police Department will follow a set policy when asked to void or dismiss a citation. Voiding a ticket is a term utilized to describe the action of cancelling a citation that has been initiated or completed, but has not yet been filed with, or submitted to Municipal Court. Dismissal of a citation is the term used to utilized to describe the action of cancelling charging or prosecution after a citation has been filed with or submitted to Municipal Court.
If you are convicted in Municipal Court you may petition for expungement. Click here for a printable version of the Petition for Expungement (PDF,25 KB)
Expungement means that the case information will be considered "erased" and the public will not have access to the information, except in certain situations.
You may petition for expungement after three years of the date the sentence was satisfied. However, some cases require five years since the date the sentence was satisfied - these include Operating Under the Influence (unless the occurence date is July 1, 2006 or after, these cases are no longer eligible for expungement), Driving While Suspended, Leaving the Scene, Failure to Report an Accident, Duty Upon Striking, and No Insurance.
There are several sentencing options in Municipal Court such as jail time, fines, fees, restitution, community service, house arrest, monitor docket, and probation.
If you are found guilty of the charges, the judge will announce a penalty at the time of sentencing.
Everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. In a trial, the burden of proof is on the city to prove that the defendant is guilty of the charges.
There are no jury trials in Municipal Court, a judge hears all testimony, reaches a verdict and imposes the sentence.
You have the right to be represented by an attorney. If you choose not to be represented by an attorney, you may act as your own attorney.
The prosecutor will call witnesses to testify against you, and after each testimony you have the right to cross-examine the witness. You are also allowed to call any witness to testify on your behalf.