Court Procedures

OV defendants must check in at the Circuit Clerk's window before entering the courtroom.

Most judges will call cases on a first come-first served basis.

  • Pre-trial Conference: The defendant can ask the judge for a pre-trial conference with the City Attorney either before or after entering a “not guilty” plea.
  • Pleading Not Guilty: The defendant has the right to plead not guilty to the charge, and request a “bench trial” (before a judge) or a jury trial.
    • Bench trials are provided at no charge to the defendant.
    • A jury trial requires a mandatory $100 jury demand fee.
    • A trial date will be set by the judge.
  • Pleading Guilty: If the defendant pleads guilty, he/she gives up the right to a trial. The defendant is typically sentenced immediately.
    • A defendant who pleads or is found guilty will be ordered to pay a fine and/or perform community service work.
    • If defendant willfully fails to pay the fine or perform the work: City Attorney will charge the defendant with “contempt of court” by filing a “Petition for a Rule to Show Cause” ordering defendant to re-appear in Court for a hearing.
    • If defendant is charged with contempt of court: he/she has the burden of proving that he/she is not in contempt. If found in contempt during the Petition for a Rule to Show Cause hearing, the defendant can be ordered to pay a fine or serve jail time.
    • If a defendant fails to appear for the contempt hearing: a civil arrest warrant will be issued for his or her arrest.