4800 West 92nd Avenue Westminster, CO 80031

City Government

 

22. Municipal Court

PDF version 

07/12 

CHAPTER 22
 
MUNICIPAL COURT

1-22-1:  MUNICIPAL COURT; JURISDICTION
1-22-2:  MUNICIPAL JUDGES; APPOINTMENT
1-22-3:  PROCEDURE OF THE COURT
1-22-4:  FAILURE TO APPEAR; PENALTY
1-22-5:  FAILURE TO ATTEND; BENCH WARRANT
1-22-6:  SESSIONS
1-22-7:  OPEN TO PUBLIC; EXCEPTIONS
1-22-8:  APPOINTMENT OF COURT ADMINISTRATOR
1-22-9:  DUTIES OF CLERK OF THE MUNICIPAL COURT
1-22-10:  JURY DEMAND
1-22-11:  JURY PROVISIONS
1-22-12:  JUROR AND WITNESS FEES
1-22-13:  COSTS
1-22-14:  FAILURE TO PAY FINES
1-22-15:  DEFERRED PROSECUTION
1-22-16:  PROBATION
1-22-17:  FORFEITURE OF BOND
1-22-18:  CONTENTS OF MUNICIPAL COURT PROCESS: BY WHOM ISSUED
1-22-19:  FACILITIES AND FUNDS
1-22-20:  APPLICATION OF STATE STATUTES
1-22-21:  PROCEEDINGS RECORDED
1-22-22:  ADMINISTRATIVE SEARCH WARRANT
1-22-23:  HOME DETENTION
1-22-24:  VIOLATIONS BUREAU; PLEAS AND PAYMENT BY MAIL; FINE SCHEDULES;
                  DEFAULT JUDGMENT

1-22-1:  MUNICIPAL COURT; JURISDICTION:   (1023 1699)There is hereby created a Municipal Court of the City of Westminster that shall have jurisdiction to hear and determine all cases arising under the laws of the City, subject to appeal to the district court in the manner provided by law for appeals from Municipal Court, with full power to carry into effect and punish as in said laws provided.

The Municipal Court shall have the power to compel attendance of witnesses and to punish for contempt of said Court by fine not to exceed three hundred dollars ($300.00) or jail sentence not to exceed ninety (90) days or both; enforce its orders and judgment in like manner as a court of record may do and as provided by general law; and render final judgment on any forfeited bond or recognizance returnable to such Court, subject to appeals in other cases.  Cash bonds may be provided for or taken in lieu of property or individual or corporate surety bonds.

1-22-2:  MUNICIPAL JUDGES; APPOINTMENT:  (674 1116 1699)

(A)  APPOINTMENT AND REMOVAL:  The City Council shall appoint a Municipal Judge, who shall serve for a term to be at the pleasure of the Council.  The Municipal Judge may be removed by the City Council at the sole discretion of the City Council.

(B)  VACANCIES:  Any vacancy in the office of Municipal Judge shall be filled by appointment by the City Council.

(C)  ASSOCIATE JUDGES:  The City Council may appoint one (1) or more associate Municipal Judges who shall serve in accordance with the provisions covering the Municipal Judge, and who shall perform such duties as directed by the presiding Municipal Judge.  The presiding judge will recommend appointment of associate Municipal Judges to City Council. 
 
(D)  POWERS:  The presiding Municipal Judge shall have full power and authority to make and adopt local rules of procedure, in writing, for the Municipal Court, provided the rules are not inconsistent with those rules promulgated by the Colorado Supreme Court for municipal courts.  All Municipal Judges shall have all judicial powers relating to the operation of the Court, subject to any rules of procedure governing the operation and conduct of municipal courts promulgated by the Colorado Supreme Court.

(E)  OATH AND BOND:  Before entering office, the presiding Municipal Judge and associate judges shall each take and subscribe, before a judge of a court of record, and file with the City Council, an oath of affirmation that he will support the Constitution of the United States, and the State of Colorado and the Charter and the laws of the City, and will faithfully perform the duties of his office. The presiding Municipal Judge, associate judges, the Court Clerk and assistant clerks shall give a bond to the City, which bond shall be approved by the City Council of the City, and be conditioned on the faithful performance of the duties of the office and for the faithful accounting for and payment of all monies coming into the hands of the judges and clerks by virtue of their offices.

(F)  QUALIFICATIONS:  The Judge of the Municipal Court shall be licensed to practice law in the State of Colorado as provided in Section 16.2 of the City Charter.

1-22-3:  PROCEDURE OF THE COURT:  (674 1699) All proceedings of the Municipal Court shall be governed by the rules for municipal courts as issued by the Colorado Supreme Court and any rules of procedure issued by the Municipal Judge.  Copies of any local rules of procedure shall be available for inspection at the office of the Court Clerk.

1-22-4:  FAILURE TO APPEAR; PENALTY:   (1257 1563 1699)

(A)  Any person eighteen (18) years of age or older who fails to appear in response to any Municipal Court order, summons or subpoena served upon him shall be guilty of a violation of this Chapter, and upon conviction shall be fined or imprisoned or sentenced to both such fine and imprisonment pursuant to the limits set forth in Section 1-8-1, W.M.C. When any defendant, duly summoned or admitted to bail, fails to appear at the time that his case is made returnable or set for trial, the Municipal Judge may, upon motion by the City, issue an order for the arrest of the defendant.

(B)  Any person under eighteen (18) years of age who shall fail to appear in response to any Municipal Court order, summons or subpoena served upon him shall be guilty of a violation of this Chapter, and upon conviction shall be fined not more than the amount specified in Section 1-8-1, W.M.C., or committed to a juvenile detention facility operated or contracted by the Department of Institutions.  Confinement shall not exceed forty-eight (48) hours.  Appeal from any such order shall be to the juvenile court for the county in which the Municipal Court is located in accordance with the provisions of Title 13, Article 10, C.R.S.

1-22-5:  FAILURE TO ATTEND; BENCH WARRANT:  (1023 1563 1699)  In all cases where a witness has been duly served with a subpoena and fails to attend pursuant to the terms of the subpoena, and in all cases where a person has been summoned as a juror in the Municipal Court and fails to attend pursuant to the terms of the summons, the Judge of the Municipal Court shall have the power to issue a bench warrant directed to any person authorized to make service of process in the City, commanding him to bring before the Judge of the Municipal Court the juror or witness so failing to attend to show cause why he should not be fined for contempt.  Upon the appearance of such juror or witness, it shall be lawful for the Judge of the Municipal Court to fine him in any sum up to the limit specified in Section 1-8-1, W.M.C., or wholly discharge him if satisfactory excuse be made.  Upon application, the Judge of the Municipal Court may issue an order enforcing subpoenas duly issued by officers or employees of the City or members of boards or commissions of the City.  These orders shall be enforceable as subpoenas issued by the Court.

1-22-6:  SESSIONS:  (674 1699)  There will be regular sessions of the Court for the trial of cases, and the presiding Municipal Judge or associate judges shall hear and try all complaints of alleged violations of any provision of this Code or City Charter provision where there is probable cause to believe that an offense has been committed; provided, however, it shall be lawful for any special session of the Municipal Court to be held any time, including holidays and night court, if, in the discretion of the presiding Municipal Judge, he shall deem such special session advisable or necessary.

1-22-7:  OPEN TO PUBLIC; EXCEPTIONS:   (674 1699)  All cases in the Municipal Court shall be open to the public; provided, however, that the Municipal Judge may order that the Court be cleared of all persons not directly connected with the case, consistent with applicable law, and constitutional provisions.

1-22-8:  APPOINTMENT OF COURT ADMINISTRATOR:  (1117 1699)  The City Manager shall appoint a Court Administrator, who shall serve as ex-officio Clerk of the Municipal Court and such assistants as may be necessary to carry out efficiently the business of said Court.

1-22-9:  DUTIES OF CLERK OF THE MUNICIPAL COURT:  (674 1699)  The Clerk shall have such duties as are delegated by law, Court rule or the presiding Municipal Judge, and shall keep a register of the actions in said Court, including all fees and money collected, and an index thereof, to pay to the Finance Director all fees, fines and penalties, all fines and fees to be credited to the General Fund, and to prepare and keep a docket for said Court in which the judgment in each case shall be noted by a judge thereof.  The Clerk shall be the supervisor of the Traffic Violations Bureau.  The Clerk and assistants shall have the power to administer oaths and affirmations in all municipal matters in said Court, and issue writs and notices, including subpoenas, summonses, and copies thereof in all cases coming within the jurisdiction of the Municipal Court.  The Clerk shall be responsible for preparing all writs and other papers pertaining to the business of said Court. The Clerk shall also be the Jury Commissioner and responsible for summoning jurors for said Court.

1-22-10: JURY DEMAND:  (1449 2000 3220 3622)  Any defendant charged with a criminal violation of a Code or ordinance provision shall have the right to a trial by jury if, within the time required by Rule 223 of the Colorado Municipal Court Rules of Procedure, as may be amended from time to time, such defendant files with the Court a written jury demand and tenders to the Court a jury fee of twenty-five dollars ($25), unless the fee is waived by the Court because of the indigence of a defendant.

1-22-11:  JURY PROVISIONS:  (1257)  The Clerk of the Municipal Court shall serve as Jury Commissioner.  A jury list shall be drawn from a list made from the voter registration list provided to courts of record in Adams County and Jefferson County, City directories, if any are available, motor vehicle license lists, and from any other source in order to insure a composite cross-section of the population of the City.  Jury questionnaires shall be sent to each prospective juror, asking relevant questions as to his service as a juror.  The Jury Commissioner shall then draw at random those selected for jury service and issue subpoenas as appropriate.

1-22-12:  JUROR AND WITNESS FEES:  (1079)

(A)  JURROR FEES:  Persons summoned to jury duty pursuant to this Chapter shall be entitled to a juror's fee of three dollars ($3) per day, provided, however, those jurors selected to serve on the jury shall be entitled to a total juror's fee of six dollars ($6) per day or part of a day for which they serve on a jury. Such juror's fee shall be assessed as costs as provided by law.

(B)  WITNESS FEES:  Persons subpoenaed as witnesses pursuant to this Chapter shall be entitled to a witness fee of five dollars ($5) per day. 
 
1-22-13:  COSTS:  (1023 1699 1818)  In cases arising out of the Charter or this Code wherein the defendant shall plead or be found guilty, there may be assessed against said defendant the costs in the action, not to exceed fifteen dollars ($15) for trial to the Court, fifty dollars ($50) for trial by jury, or ten dollars ($10) for disposition of the case without trial, in addition to any other jury fee required by law, or costs imposed pursuant to Court rule. Whenever any complaining witness, other than a police officer or other employee of the City, fails or refuses to testify at the time of trial, or whenever it shall appear to the Court that there were no reasonable grounds for the complaint, or that it was maliciously filed, such complaining witness may, in the discretion of the Court, be assessed costs in an amount not to exceed one hundred dollars ($100), together with additional costs provided herein.

1-22-14:  FAILURE TO PAY FINES:  (1257 1657 1699 3143)

(A)  Every person eighteen (18) years of age or older against whom any criminal fine, penalty, costs or restitution shall be assessed under the laws of the City who shall refuse or neglect to pay the same when demanded upon execution may be committed in default thereof to the City or county jail, or such other suitable place as shall be provided by the City under the direction of the proper officer, until the fine, penalty, costs or restitution is fully paid and satisfied.   Satisfaction shall be allowed at the rate of four dollars ($4) per twenty-four (24) hour day.

 Any such person may be required to do any reasonable work; provided, however, that in the discretion of the Municipal Judge, a stay of execution may be granted to enable the defendant to pay the fine, penalty, costs or restitution at a later date or in installments.  In case the defendant shall not have met the terms of the stay of execution, then execution may issue and the defendant may be placed in jail until such judgment is satisfied.

(B)  Every person under eighteen (18) years of age against whom any fine, penalty, costs or restitution shall be assessed under the laws of the City who shall refuse or neglect to pay the same when demanded upon execution may be committed to a juvenile detention facility operated or contracted by the Department of Institutions.  If a juvenile facility is not available, the child may be confined in an adult facility so long as he is separated from adult offenders; provided, however, no child under fourteen (14) years of age shall be confined in an adult facility.  Confinement shall not exceed forty-eight (48) hours.  Appeal from any such order shall be to the juvenile court for the county in which the Municipal Court is located in accordance with the provisions of Title 13, Article 10, C.R.S.  Any confinement pursuant to this Section shall be consistent with Section 19-2-103, C.R.S.

(C)  Upon the failure, neglect, or refusal of a person to pay a fine, penalty, costs or restitution as directed by the Municipal Court, the Court shall inquire as to the grounds for said person's failure, neglect, or refusal to pay.  Should the Court be satisfied that the reason for said person's failure to pay the fine, penalty, costs or restitution is solely indigency, the Court shall not incarcerate said person; provided, however, that the person who owes the fine, penalty, costs or restitution shall have the burden of going forward and the burden of persuasion on the issue of indigency.

(D)  To collect past due orders of fines, penalties, costs, fees, or restitution, the Court may assign such accounts to a private collection agency.  Any fines, penalties, costs, fees or restitution of the collection agency shall be added to the amount due, but not to exceed twenty-five percent (25%) of the amount collected.

1-22-15:  DEFERRED PROSECUTION:   (1626 2232)

(A) DEFERRED PROSECUTION:

(1) In any case, the Court may, prior to trial or entry of a plea of guilty and with the consent of the defendant and the prosecution, order the prosecution of the offense to be deferred for a period not to exceed one (1) year.  During such time, the Court shall place the defendant under probationary supervision. 
 
(2) Upon the defendant's satisfactory completion of and discharge from supervision, the charge against the defendant shall be dismissed with prejudice.  If the conditions of supervision are violated, the defendant shall be tried for the offense for which he is charged.

(3) Upon consenting to a deferred prosecution as provided in this Section, the defendant shall execute a written waiver of his right to a speedy trial.  Consent to a deferred prosecution under this Section shall not be construed as an admission of guilt, nor shall such consent be admitted into evidence in a trial for the offense of which he is charged.

(B)  DEFERRED JUDGMENT AND SENTENCING:

     1.  In any case in which the defendant has entered a plea of guilty, the Court, accepting the plea, has the power, with the written consent of the defendant, to continue the case for a period not to exceed twelve (12) months from the date of the entry of such plea for the purpose of entering judgment and sentence upon such plea of guilty.  During such time, the Court may place the defendant under the supervision of the Probation Division.

     2.  Prior to entry of the plea of guilty to be followed by deferred judgment and sentence, the City Prosecuting Attorney, in the course of plea discussion, is authorized to enter into a written stipulation, to be signed by the defendant and the City Prosecuting Attorney, under which the defendant obligates himself to adhere to such stipulation.  The conditions imposed in the stipulation shall be similar in all respects to conditions permitted as part of probation.  In addition, the stipulation may require the defendant to perform community work service projects.  Upon full compliance with such conditions by the defendant, the plea of guilty previously entered shall be withdrawn and the action against the defendant dismissed with prejudice.  Such stipulation shall specifically provide that, upon a breach by the defendant of any condition regulating the conduct of the defendant, the Court shall enter judgment and impose sentence upon such guilty plea.  When, as a condition of deferred judgment and sentence, the Court orders the defendant to make restitution and finds that he has the ability to pay, evidence of failure to pay the said restitution shall constitute prima facie evidence of the violation.  Whether a breach of condition has occurred shall be determined by the Court without a jury upon application of the City Prosecuting Attorney and upon notice of hearing thereon of not less than five (5) days to the defendant or his attorney of record.  Application for entry of judgment and imposition of sentence may be made by the City Prosecuting Attorney at any time within the term of the deferred judgment, or within thirty (30) days thereafter. The burden of proof in such hearing shall be as required in a proceeding for revocation of probation, as specified in the Colorado Revised Statutes, applicable case law, and the Colorado Rules of Criminal Procedure, and the procedural safeguards required in a proceeding for revocation of probation shall apply.

1-22-16:  PROBATION:  (1699) A defendant found guilty of a violation of any provision or City Charter or this Code may be placed upon probation for a period not exceeding one (1) year.  Said probation shall be supervised by the Municipal Court, and the probation system may be instituted and established by the presiding Judge of the Municipal Court.  The presiding Judge shall also have power to obtain a pre-sentence report from any appropriate authority in establishing a fine or term of imprisonment. 

1-22-17:  FORFEITURE OF BOND:  (674 1699)  Whenever any defendant before the Municipal Court fails to appear according to the terms, requirements and conditions of his bond for appearance, or after appearing departs the Court without leave, his bond shall be forfeited.

1-22-18:  CONTENTS OF MUNICIPAL COURT PROCESS: BY WHOM ISSUED:   (1028 1699)

(A)  Every complaint and summons shall state the name of the defendant, the Code section number or Charter section number alleged to have been violated, the type of offense to which each of said sections relates; the date and place of each alleged violation; that the defendant is known or believed to have committed such offense or offenses; and that the defendant is required to appear to answer the charges on a date and at the time and place designated in the complaint or summons.  The complaint or summons, except as provided herein, shall be signed by the person alleging the violation, and the complaint shall be verified by the complainant, unless he is a peace officer or employee of the Court acting in their official capacity.

(B)  For purposes of this Section only, noncommissioned paraprofessional personnel employed by the Police Department for investigation of traffic offenses and enforcement of traffic ordinances shall be deemed to be peace officers.

(C) Each warrant shall state the name of the defendant, the Code or Charter provision alleged to have been violated, the date and place of the alleged violation, and that the defendant is alleged to have committed the offense.

(D)  Each subpoena shall state the name of the case, the name of the witness to whom the subpoena is directed, and that the witness is required to appear and give testimony on the date and at the time and place stated in the subpoena.

(E)  It shall be sufficient to charge a violation of the laws of the City in any summons or complaint by reference to the section providing for such violation without specifically referring to the applicable subsection thereof.

1-22-19:  FACILITIES AND FUNDS:  (674)  The City Council shall furnish the Municipal Court with suitable courtroom facilities and sufficient funds for the acquisition of all necessary books, supplies and furniture for the proper conduct of the business of the Court.

1-22-20:  APPLICATION OF STATE STATUTES:  (1699)  The provisions of Title 13, Article 10, C.R.S., relating to municipal courts, shall be applicable to all matters upon which this Chapter is silent and other matters where there is no conflict between the terms of the aforesaid statute and this Chapter.  To the extent that said statute and this Chapter may differ, this Chapter shall prevail.

1-22-21:  PROCEEDINGS RECORDED:  (1028)  The proceedings of the Municipal Court shall be recorded electronically to provide a verbatim record of proceedings and evidence at trial, and such electronic recordings shall be preserved as required by law to serve as a basis for any necessary transcription of any cases appealed from the Municipal Court to the district court.

1-22-22: ADMINISTRATIVE SEARCH WARRANT:  (1586)  The Municipal Judge or an associate judge shall have the power to issue a search warrant upon the request of a Code Enforcement Officer pursuant to Section 3-1-12 of the Code.

1-22-23:  HOME DETENTION:  (1774)

(A)  The Court may, upon petition by a person sentenced to a participating jail for conviction of a crime, nonpayment of any fine or forfeiture, or contempt of court, grant the prisoner the privilege of leaving the jail for home detention.

(B)  For purposes of this Section, "home detention" means a system wherein a prisoner is confined to his home and monitored by wearing an electronic transmitting device that sends a radio signal to a receiver attached to the prisoner's home telephone, which telephone can be continuously monitored by a computer such that the computer can immediately and automatically alert the appropriate criminal justice agency of any and all violations of conditions of confinement.

(C)  The prisoner may petition the Court for such privilege at the time and in the manner established by the Court.  The Court may withdraw the privilege at any time by order entered with or without notice.

(D)  Every prisoner authorized to leave the jail for home detention shall be liable for the cost of the supervision and administrative services provided to the prisoner during his home detention.

1-22-24:  VIOLATIONS BUREAU; PLEAS AND PAYMENT BY MAIL; FINE SCHEDULES; DEFAULT JUDGMENT:  (1995)

(A)  There is hereby created a Violations Bureau within the Court.  The Court is authorized to establish by order the procedures by which a person may answer a charge of violation of a City ordinance by paying a fine, pleading guilty in writing, and waiving a hearing.  The Court is authorized to establish by order such violations as are appropriate to be handled by the Violations Bureau.
 
(B) The Court is authorized to establish by order a system for the compromise and settlement of traffic infractions by mail. The Court shall identify those traffic infractions for which a mail-in compromise and settlement is appropriate, and shall establish the terms upon which said compromise and settlement shall be accomplished, including, but not limited to, reductions in assessed points upon a written plea of guilty to an amended charge. Such program shall not disqualify any person from appearing on the scheduled court date nor in any way limit a person's right to a hearing.

(C)  The Court is authorized to establish by order a schedule of fines for violations of City ordinances that are eligible for payment at the Violations Bureau or by use of the mail-in system.

(D) 
(1) The Court shall enter judgment by default against a person charged with a traffic infraction who fails to answer the charge by appearing at the Violations Bureau and paying the fine or by compromising and settling the charges by mail, and who fails to appear in the Municipal Court to answer such charges on the date and time listed on the summons.  The record of such judgment, including points assessed, shall be forwarded to the Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles.

(2) The amount of the judgment shall be the fine, outstanding judgment fee, and costs assessable for such charges upon conviction or plea of guilty.

(3) The Court may set aside a judgment entered under this Section on a showing of good cause or excusable neglect by the defendant, or a showing that the Court did not have jurisdiction over the subject matter of the alleged infraction or over the person of the alleged violator.  The Court shall have no jurisdiction to set aside a judgment unless a motion has been filed within seven (7) calendar days after entry of judgment.

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