Preparing for Your Court Date
Court sessions are generally held every Thursday at 1 p.m. (Please see the Franklin Township Calendar (PDF) for exceptions.)
Your day in court informational packets:
- All persons, bags, packages, attache cases, pocketbooks and metal items are subject to inspection.
- Shoes and shirts must be worn
- Prohibited Items: Persons in possession of prohibited items may be held in violation of the law.
- Weapons and other potentially dangerous items
- Food / drink
- Hats (non-religious)
- Cell / camera phones
- Other sound recording devices
It is very important that you arrive on time. If you are late you may have to wait longer to resolve your matter. All cell phones and pagers must be turned off or placed in silent/vibrate mode.
If you are charged with a violation in the Municipal Court, carefully read the front and back of your complaint. If you intend to appear in court and/or enter a Not Guilty Plea you must contact the court office seven days prior to the court date indicated on the front of the complaint. If you do not advise the court of your intent to appear, and come in unannounced, the court may not be able to proceed with your case and you may be given a new court date.
If you appear in court on a payable ticket and are found guilty, the Violations Bureau Schedule no longer applies and the judge may impose additional fines and costs
The judge will begin by giving a statement explaining court procedures, defendants' rights and penalties. Cases are called in a specific order as required by court rule. That order is as follows:
- Requests for postponements.
- First Appearances (advising defendants of rights/penalties).
- Guilty pleas.
- Defendant has a lawyer.
- Defendant does not have a lawyer.
- Not Guilty pleas.
- Defendant has a lawyer.
- Defendant does not have a lawyer
The Prosecutor will introduce himself and advise anyone who wishes to speak with him to follow him back to the conference room.
At this time you may discuss a plea agreement with the prosecutor. This is an agreement about how the case will be resolved. All matters may result in a plea agreement, except drunk driving and certain drug-related cases. If you reach an agreement you must return to the courtroom and wait for your case to be called. In most instances the judge will accept the plea agreement and enter it into the record.
Appeals are heard in Superior Court and must be filed within 20 days of the Municipal Court Judge's decision. An appeal packet explaining the procedure for filing an appeal will be provided to you by the municipal court upon request. You can also complete the packet online (PDF).
A transcript request and fee must be submitted to the Municipal Court.
Getting a Public Defender
To apply for a Public Defender, download the Application for Public Defender (PDF), complete it, and bring it with you to your court appearance. It does not guarantee appointment of a public defender, because the judge must review it in accordance with certain guidelines. The judge may assess a public defender fee of up to $200.