For information on signing
up for a booth, click here
Cyndi C. Lehr, CMCA
Office Hours: Monday – Friday 9:00am – 4:30pm
Telephone: 908-454-6121 X 327
PAYING A SUMMONS:
Disorderly and Petty Disorderly Persons Offenses may result in fines, community service, probation, jail or other sentence as allowed by statute.
More serious offenses, known as Indictable Offenses, are sent to the County Prosecutor. The County Prosecutor decides whether to present the case to a Grand Jury or to return the case to the Municipal Court as a less serious offense (a downgrade). Top
When is a Court Appearance Required?
A court appearance is required in all criminal matters i.e. assault, shoplifting, harassment, drug charges, etc. If “Court Appearance Required” is checked on a traffic summons, you must appear in court at the time and place indicated, even if you wish to plead guilty. If “Court Appearance Required” is not checked on the traffic ticket, you must still appear in court if:
How do I enter a Not Guilty plea?
If you intend to enter a Not Guilty plea to the offense charged on the ticket/complaint, you must notify the Court at least seven (7) days prior to the court date listed on the ticket/complaint (contact information is available on this website as well as on the ticket/complaint). If you fail to notify the court, it may be necessary for you to make two (2) court appearances.
It is imperative that the person directly involved with the case (not a friend or relative) contact the Court. This will help speed inquiries. It is also imperative that you have your ticket/complaint number available when calling, writing or emailing so that we may assist you quickly and efficiently. Top
The order in which cases are called is controlled by the New Jersey Court Rules. Cases are generally called in the following order:
The first time the defendant appears before the judge to be advised of the charge(s) against him/her and what the possible penalties may be is called an Arraignment or First Appearance. An Arraignment is conducted for all serious violations such as criminal matters and Driving Under the Influence. Generally only the defendant will be required to appear for the Arraignment. In some instances, however, the complainant may also be present. If that is the case, the judge may proceed with a plea or a trial. Depending on the nature of the violation, the judge may Order all parties to Mediation. Top
The defendant must complete an application form (5A) that is obtained from the Court. The Judge will review the application and, based on eligibility guidelines, decide if the defendant qualifies for the Public Defender. If the town has established an ordinance, a fee of up to $200.00 may be imposed on the defendant for the services of the Public Defender. Pohatcong Township and Greenwich Township have each adopted such an ordinance. Top.
What is a Plea Agreement?
Before trial – the defendant may speak with the Municipal Prosecutor in an attempt to settle or resolve the case through a Plea Agreement.
The New Jersey Supreme Court allows for Plea Agreements in the Municipal Courts except in certain cases. A Plea Agreement is an agreement between the defendant and the Municipal Prosecutor about how the case will be resolved. In exchange for a Guilty plea, the Prosecutor may
Any Plea Agreement must be presented to the Judge for approval. If the Judge refuses to accept the agreement, the case will proceed to trial. Top
FINES: The Judge must follow the law in deciding the amount of any fine imposed. Sometimes there are minimum mandatory penalties and assessments that must be imposed by law. Fines are generally expected to be paid at the time they are imposed.
The Judge may allow the fine to be paid in installments. The defendant may apply for a Payment Plan by filling out a form obtained from the Court. The Judge will decide, based on the form, if a Payment Plan will be Ordered and, if so, what the payment arrangement will be. The defendant is required to sign a Court Order that explains the terms of the Payment Plan, Failure to comply with the Order may result in suspension of your driving privileges and/or a warrant may be issued for your arrest.
JAIL: The maximum jail term a Municipal Court can impose is six (6) months. The sentence is served at the Warren County Correctional Facility. Work release or CLAP may be available depending on the nature of the offense and in the Judge’s discretion.
LICENSE SUSPENSION: Some offenses require suspension of your driving privileges for a minimum period. If your license is suspended for failure to appear, failure to pay fines, or comply with a Court Order or condition of sentence, it generally will not be restored until the case is completed
You cannot drive for any reason during the period of suspension. You must pay any restoration fee to the Motor Vehicle Commission and receive written notification from the Motor Vehicle Commission that your driving privileges have been restored.
COMMUNITY SERVICE: By law, the Judge must Order Community Service for certain traffic and criminal offenses. The Warren County Probation Department is responsible for the placement and monitoring of defendants sentenced to Community Service. Failure to perform Community Service will result in the case being returned to Court.
POINTS/SURCHARGES: In addition to penalties imposed by the Court for moving traffic violations, the Motor Vehicle Commission may also assess points on your driving record. The New Jersey Department of Insurance may also assess surcharges on insurance payments. Top
What is Mediation?
The Judge or Court Administrator may send any eligible case to Mediation. This is a confidential process which allows the parties to meet with mediators who will aid them in resolving their dispute amicably. Top
How can I Appeal my case?
If you disagree with the Court’s decision, you have the right to file an Appeal to the Superior Court in Warren County. The Superior Court reviews the transcript of the Municipal Court trial and the decision of the Municipal Court Judge. There is not a new trial – no additional testimony or witnesses will be considered.
An Appeal must be filed within 20 days of the Municipal Court Judge’s decision. A filing fee and transcript deposit are also due at that time. The Appeal package is available online at the State Judiciary website. Top