What is the Municipal Court?
The Municipal Court provides professional and efficient management of the City's judicial branch of government. The Judge is appointed by the Mayor with the consent of the City Council, and serves on a part-time basis. The Court tries matters such as violations of traffic code, maintenance code and other ordinances.
In order to provide for the efficient collection of fines and costs assessed by the municipal court, the City has established the Violation Bureau. The Court Administrator operates this bureau and administers the day-to-day record keeping functions of the court.
What are the policies of the Municipal Court?
- If you received a ticket, you are summoned to appear in court.
- Unless you have pre-paid your ticket fine, you must appear in court on the date shown on your ticket.
- Clerks have the authority to grant one continuance by phone, but unless you have made that arrangement, you are summoned to appear in court on the date shown on your ticket.
- You may enter three different pleas:
- Guilty with an explanation, or
- Not Guilty
- You may enter a guilty plea and address the charges in one of three ways:
- For most charges, you may plead guilty and pay the fine by mail.
- Coming to the Court/Violations Bureau window during normal business hours (9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.) to enter your plea and pay the fine.
- Coming to the Court on court night.
- If you plead guilty at court, you will be given a future payment due date if you cannot pay on the day of court.
- If you prefer to plead guilty, but you do not have the funds to pay your ticket, you must come to court on the court date shown on your ticket. You will be given a future date to pay in full. You will not be arrested for not having the necessary funds to pay your fine.
What is the Municipal Court Date Schedule?
Court dates and trial docket dates are set in general as the following (although the schedule may change to accommodate holidays or other conflicts):
- Sentencing dockets are held on the second Monday of the month.
- Code enforcement dockets are held on the first Thursday of the month.
- Trials are held on the fourth Monday of the month.
- Traffic court and ordinance violations are generally held on the second and fourth Thursday of the month.
The Violations Bureau is open for payments from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. On court dates, payments are accepted until noon.
Can I pay my fines online?
Yes. Our online payment system is administered by nCourt, a third party, which sets the fees related to online payment. Click here to pay your fines online.
What if I can't pay my fines?
If you plead guilty, the fine's cost is expected to be paid. If you are not able to pay your fines, you will be given a future court date to have the fine paid in full. If you feel paying the fine will not be financially possible, you should make this known to the judge when you appear before him or her on your court date. The Judge will evaluate your request and you will receive a bill including your fine amount and court costs. The Judge arranges for a payment plan in which you will make a minimum payment of $100 per month until the total is paid. If this payment amount is not financially possible, this is the time to arrange an alternative payment amount with the Judge.
Can someone else pay my fines?
Anyone can pay your fines; however, you must be the one to enter a plea.
Is there a minimum payment?
The minimum payment is $100 unless other arrangements have been made with the Judge.
What do I need to do if my license has been suspended?
You will need to contact the Missouri Department of Revenue to determine why your license was suspended. If your license was suspended because of a failure to appear in this Court, you must fully dispose of the case here. When that is done, you will be given a compliance notice to take to the Department of Revenue.
What is the maximum sentence the Judge can impose?
The range of punishment in this Court is up to $1,000 fine and/or 90 days in jail.
How many points will I get for my speeding ticket?
Points are assessed by the Missouri Department of Revenue. A general guide to point assessment is available here; however, you are advised to contact the DOR directly for the most specific and up-to-date information about your violation.
Is there a way to keep the points from going on my record?
In some cases, the Judge may allow you to complete a defensive driving course in order to keep points off of your driving record. You must appear in Court to request the driving course.
In what order is the docket called?
In general practice, but not exclusively so, the order in which names are called is based on first come, first serve. Your name will not be called unless you check in with the clerks. To avoid any complications or confusion, please check in with the clerks when you arrive.
When can I pay my fine?
Our office is open for payments from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
What methods of payment are accepted?
At the violations bureau, we take cash, local checks (made payable to City of Maryland Heights) and money orders. We accept credit cards with an additional $4 fee. To use a credit card, fines and costs must be paid in full.
Where is the Municipal Court located?
Court is held in the Municipal Courtroom at the Maryland Heights Government Center, 11911 Dorsett Road. The Government Center is located approximately 1/2 mile east of I-270 at the intersection of Dorsett and Millwell.
Do I have to get an attorney?
You are not required to get an attorney. However, you may want to consider at least talking to an attorney to make sure you understand any possible ramifications of a plea you may enter.
What should I bring to Court?
You should bring any paperwork that you would like to show to the Judge. This might include proof of insurance, proof of registration or proof of license reinstatement.
What if I can't be there on my court date?
You may ask for a continuance. The clerks are able to grant only one continuance per case. Continuances are only granted by phone or in person at our pay window and must be requested at least 24 hours prior to the court date. We cannot consider continuances requested by email or fax.
What time does Court start?
Trial and traffic dockets begin at 6:00 p.m. Day dockets begin at 10:00 a.m. Check-in starts 30 minutes before the court date and time listed on the summons.