Court Appearances

Court Appearances

If you are charged with a violation in the Municipal Court, please be sure to carefully read the front and back of your complaint. If you intend to appear in court and/or enter a Not Guilty Plea, it is necessary that you contact the court office seven days prior to the court date indicated on the front of the complaint. Please note that notice to the court is necessary, regardless of the charge you may be appearing for. If you do not advise the court of your intent to appear, and come in on a court date unannounced, the court may not be able to proceed with your case and you may be given a new court date.

All municipal court proceedings are tape recorded and quiet in the courtroom is vital. Therefore, it is necessary that all cell phones and pagers be turned off or placed in silent/vibrate mode.

If you appear in court and plead guilty or are found guilty to an otherwise payable violation, the Violations Bureau Schedule no longer applies and the judge may impose additional fines and costs.

It is very important that you arrive in court promptly. If you appear late, it may not be noted that you are in court and you may have to wait longer to resolve your matter. At the beginning of the court session, the judge will give an opening statement explaining court procedures, defendants’ rights and penalties. Then the judge will call the list of scheduled cases. Once the list is called, the Prosecutor will introduce himself and advise anyone who wishes to speak with him to follow him back to the conference room. Cases are called in a specific order as required by court rule. The order is as follows:

  • Request for postponements.
  • First Appearances (advising defendants of rights/penalties).
  • Guilty pleas.
    • Where the defendant is represented by a lawyer.
    • Where the defendant is not represented by a lawyer.
  • Not Guilty pleas.
    • Where the defendant is represented by a lawyer.
    • Where the defendant is not represented by a lawyer.

Please be patient so that the court may give each case the time and attention it deserves.

Plea by Mail/Affidavit of Defense
If you wish to plead by mail, you must contact the court to see if your case meets the requirements of the court rule 7:12-3.

Plea Agreements
Plea Agreements may be discussed with the municipal prosecutor when you appear in court and such agreements are permitted by New Jersey Supreme Court. A plea agreement is an agreement between the defendant and the prosecutor about how the case will be resolved. All matters except drunk driving and certain drug-related cases may result in a plea agreement. If you reach an agreement with the prosecutor you will need to return to the courtroom and await the call of your case by the judge. In most instances the judge will accept the plea agreement and enter it into the record.

Court sessions are generally held the first and third Tuesday of the month at 8:30 am. (Please see the township calendar for exceptions.)

Appeals
Appeals of municipal court decisions are heard in Superior Court. An appeal must be filed within 20 days of the Municipal Court Judge’s decision. A transcript request and fee must be submitted to the Municipal Court. An appeal packet explaining fully the procedure for filing an appeal will be provided to you by the municipal court upon request.