Municipal Court FAQs

What if I don’t appear for my initial appearance?
If your citation was personally served on you and you fail to appear in Court for your initial appearance, you will be found guilty and a default judgment will be entered against you.  You will receive a notice of default judgment in the mail stating the forfeiture amount due and the due date.

If your citation was mailed to you and you fail to appear in court, enter a plea, or pay the forfeiture by the due date, the court may issue a warrant for your arrest.

I can’t make it to my initial appearance, but I want to talk to someone about my ticket?
You may enter a plea of “not guilty” before your initial appearance by either sending a letter to the court requesting a pretrial conference or filling out a plea form in the Municipal Court Office at City Hall.  The court will notify you in writing of the pretrial conference where you can speak with the City Attorney's Office about your case.

What if I can’t pay the forfeiture by the due date?
If you are unable to pay the amount in full, you must appear in front of the Judge at a Good Cause Hearing as noted in your court paperwork, o
r file a written request for extension of time prior to the due date.  At that hearing, you may request a payment plan or an extension of time to pay.  Be prepared to answer questions regarding your income and expenses at this hearing.

I can’t make it to my pretrial conference, can I reschedule?
When you receive your pretrial conference date and you cannot make it to court, you may request to have the conference postponed.  Contact the City Attorney’s Office at (608) 364-6624 to reschedule.  If you wait until the last minute to reschedule, your request may not be granted.  It is important to contact the City Attorney’s Office immediately when you learn of the conflict.

How can I get my points reduced?
If you wish to reduce the demerit points on your driving record, you may attend an approved traffic school.  Applications for point reduction school can be made at any state vocational school,  including Blackhawk Technical College.

What will happen if I don’t pay my forfeiture and I don’t appear in court at the Good Cause Hearing?
The Judge may commit you to jail for not more than 90 days per citation; may suspend your driver’s license for a maximum of 1 year or until the forfeiture is paid; may garnish your wages; and/or may intercept your tax refund.

I missed my court date but really wanted to appear.  What now?
In order to contest your citation after a disposition has been entered by the Court, you must file a written request to the Court (Motion to Reopen Judgment) indicating your reason why you did not appear in court and why you believe your case should be reopened.   

I received a citation for not having insurance.  I have proof that I had insurance at the time I was stopped. What can I do?
State law requires that the operator of a motor vehicle carry proof of insurance on him/her at the time of operation of a motor vehicle.  If you had insurance at the time of the stop, but did not have proof with you, you bring proof of insurance to the initial appearance or to the Municipal Court window on the second floor of City Hall before the initial appearance. State law provides that the citation must be dismissed if you provide written proof of insurance at the initial appearance.

What if I still have questions?
You may contact the Municipal Court Office at City Hall if you have any questions about court procedure.  If you have questions as to why you were issued a citation, you should contact the city department that issued you the citation.  If you disagree with the citation and wish to speak to someone, follow the procedures outlined in this pamphlet about setting up a pretrial conference with the City Attorney's Office.

You are encouraged to contact an attorney if you have legal questions or believe you need legal assistance.