Honorable Judge: Edward F. Thompson
Clerk of Courts: Diane Severt
Municipal Court Attorney: Bret Ekes
Welcome to the webpage of the Town of Delavan Municipal Court. We have created this page to provide you with information you may need in regard to the Municipal Court process. Our court system is staffed on a part time basis; if you have questions please leave a message on the court answering machine (262) 728-5563.
Before your court date a traffic fine can be paid at the Town of Delavan Police Department from 9:00 a.m... to 5:00 p.m... or they can be paid on your court appearance date to the Municipal Clerk of Courts at Town Hall.
The Municipal Court has jurisdiction over traffic and non-traffic ordinance violations in the Town of Delavan. The Municipal Court is an independent branch of local government. The fundamental purpose of the court is to ensure the timely, efficient delivery and administration of justice. The reason that we have traffic laws and non-traffic ordinances is for public health, welfare and safety. Regardless of how you intend to plead or the final disposition of your case; resolve to become a better driver-citizen.
The Judge and the Clerk of Court are not allowed to give legal advice. If you desire an attorney, you must retain one at your own expense. An attorney can explain your rights and assist you. We urge you to retain your own attorney. The information on our website does not constitute legal advice.
This may be your first visit to this Court, and it is our desire that you be fully advised of your rights and the Court's procedure's. The initial appearance session of the Court is primarily for the purpose of taking your plea to the alleged violation of the law.
- When your name is called, please come forward promptly to a position in front of the bench, facing the Judge.
- The Court will inform you of the exact charge against you; the range of possible penalties including points that may be imposed in traffic cases; and will request that you enter a plea of not guilty, guilty, or no contest.
- If this is your initial, scheduled appearance date, you have a right to request a continuance, which a continuance can be used to consult with your attorney.
ENTERING A PLEA
- If you enter a plea of GUILTY, you are admitting that you committed the offense, and if the arrest report contains the necessary elements, you will be found guilty and a penalty will be imposed.
- If you enter a plea of NO CONTEST; you are neither guilty nor not guilty, but merely want to have the matter resolved and pay the penalty. The effect of this plea is that you will be found guilty, but you will not be admitting your civil liability for use in other litigation, which should be expected where personal injury or property damage is involved.
- If you are convicted, you will be given an opportunity if you wish to make a statement before the Court examines your conviction record and sets the penalties.
- Should you need time to pay the penalty if you cannot pay in full on your court date; the court may grant you a reasonable time to pay. If you fail to pay, the Court will set an alternative penalty of imprisonment in jail; or suspend your driving privileges (license).
- If you enter a plea of NOT GUILTY, you deny committing the offense, and the matter will be adjourned to a later court date for either a Pre-Trial or a Court Trial.
If you plead not guilty, you may request that a Pre-Trial be conducted, at a later court date, so that you can discuss possible settlement with the Prosecutor. You are not required to have a Pre-Trial, but if you request a Pre-Trial, your personal appearance is mandatory. The Judge does not participate in the Pre-Trial hearings, nor does he have to accept any negotiated or amended charge.
FAILURE TO APPEAR
If you fail to appear at your scheduled Pre-Trial or Court Trial, the Court will either issue a warrant for your immediate arrest, or enter a Default Judgment against you.
Only if you have been charged with the offense of Operating a Motor Vehicle While Under the Influence of an Intoxicant, you are entitled to a Jury Trial on a plea of not guilty. You must file a written request for a six (6) person jury trial within ten (10) days of your initial appearance; post the jury fee, and post your bond. Failure to comply with the above will result in a trial in the Municipal Court.
All Trials, except non-traffic juvenile cases, are Public Trials. You have the right to retain your own attorney, and to subpoena witnesses. You are presumed innocent and will be convicted only if evidence is clear, convincing, and satisfactory that you committed the violation with which you have been charged. All witnesses must testify in person, and under oath.
The prosecution will produce its witnesses to testify as to the facts and circumstances surrounding your alleged violation. You or your lawyer will be permitted to cross-examine each witness that testifies.
When the prosecutor has completed its case, you and your witnesses will be given the opportunity to testify, and you will be subject to cross-examination by the prosecutor.
The rules of Civil Procedure and evidence will be followed.
After all of the evidence has been presented, the prosecution and the defense will be given an opportunity to summarize, by brief argument their respective cases to the Court. Thereafter, the court will decide based upon the testimony, the evidence and the law whether to find you guilty or not guilty.
TIME TO PAY
If you are unable to pay a judgment due to poverty, when the forfeiture is due, you must request to be placed on an installment plan, or a stay.
RELIF FROM JUDGEMENT
- Either party has a right to appeal a Municipal Court decision to the Walworth County Circuit Court or may have a new trial in the Circuit Court. A plea of no contest, guilty or a default judgment may not be appealed. - If you decide to appeal, you must do so by filing a written Notice of Appeal with the Municipal Court within twenty (20) days of the date of the conviction, judgment or decision; and at the same time provide written notice to the Town Prosecutor. If there is no request for a new trial, the appeal is based upon a review of the transcript of the proceedings. - At the same time, you must remit appellate fees payable to "Clerk of Court, Walworth County". New trials in the Circuit Court are tried without a jury, unless you request a jury trial in your Notice of Appeal. Upon payment of the appellate fee, jury fee and the amount of your penalty, you will then receive a six (6) person jury trial in the Circuit Court.
- You may have a right to file a Notice to Re-Open a judgment within six (6) months of the judgment only for good cause, and the payment of the re-opening fee may be ordered. Motions to Re-Open are heard on Trial Court dates when the Town Prosecutor is present.
FAILURE TO PAY FINES/FORFEITURES
There may be serious consequences if you fail to follow the Court's orders or pay the forfeiture. The Court may commit a person to jail for not more then ninety (90) days; or the Court may order the suspension of your driver's license (privileges) for up to two (2) years or until the forfeiture is paid. If you cannot pay the forfeiture due to poverty you may request a hearing for a poverty determination.
As in any other court of law, there are rules of conduct by which every person appearing or attending must abide by. These rules of conduct are set out for the civility of the court process, and so that persons in the attendance are given a fair atmosphere in which to present their case. All persons in attendance should present themselves in a decent matter and shall be civil at all times.
- NO WEAPONS ARE ALLOWED IN THE COURTROOM
- NO SMOKING IN THE COURTROOM
- NO OBSCENE OR VULGAR LANGUAGE IN THE COURTROOM
- ALL ELECTRONIC DEVICES SHOULD BE TURNED OFF
- TAKE OFF YOUR HAT
Pro Se parties (individuals representing themselves without an attorney) should be prepared to present their cases in a proper manner. It is not the court's duty or responsibility to protect or represent you, or instruct you on court procedure, evidence, rule, or how to present and prove your case. If you are unprepared, unaware, and not knowledgeable as to presenting your case, you may lose your case.
- Be on time. When you come into the courtroom, sign you name on the sign up sheet
- Come prepared to ask questions of witnesses, not the Judge
- You will be allowed to give testimony from the stand, not from the defense table
- Do not argue with the court
- Address the court as "Judge" or "Your Honor"
- Address opposing parties, counsel, witnesses, and officers, as "Mr.", "Mrs.", "Miss" and other "Officer", etc. Do not use first names, except when it relates to children
- Do not read newspapers, magazines, books, etc. in the courtroom during proceedings
- Do not talk at the same time as the judge, counsels, witnesses or other court personnel
- Racist, sexist, obscene or profane language or gestures are prohibited unless it is pertinent to a case and is elicited and quoted from facts of the case
- Do not enter and depart from the courtroom excessively
- Do not disturb or distract the court, counsels, witnesses and other court personnel
- Children must not create a disturbance or must be kept out of the courtroom
- Do not approach the Judge's bench or Clerk's desk without permission
- Do not rest arms or hands on the bench
- Leave all purses, brief cases, etc. at the defense table when you are called to the Judge's or Clerk's desk
- Have all paperwork, driver's license, evidence, etc. ready when called to approach the Judge's bench
- Rise when the Judge enters and remain standing until the Judge announces "be seated"
- No food or drinks are allowed in the courtroom