In-person hearings resume
With the City Hall reopening to the public, Columbus Municipal Court will return to in-person hearings, beginning May 19. Covid-19 safety protocols will be followed.
- Individuals will have their temperatures taken before they enter the courtroom.
- Masks and social distancing will be required.
- Hand sanitizer will be available.
- Commonly touched surfaces will be wiped down frequently.
- Individuals who are over age 65 or have serious underlying health conditions can contact the Municipal Court Clerk to arrange for special accommodations if needed.
Please check the upper left corner of your citation to see if your appearance is REQUIRED. If your appearance is not required, you may avoid court by paying the deposit noted on the citation by mail or online through the City of Columbus website: www.cityofcolumbuswi.com, > Government > Court > Payment Information > Pay Online. Defendants who do not appear in court will have a No Contest plea entered on their behalf and will be found guilty by default.
Defendants who wish to plead Not Guilty may do so in advance by phone, mail or email. Please read the Plea Option descriptions below.
- Not Guilty – You believe you have not violated the ordinance. Your case will be set over for trial at a later date at which time the Municipality must prove its case by clear and convincing evidence. Prior to trial you will be assigned a pre-trial conference with the Municipal Attorney to see if you can resolve your case satisfactorily to this Court without holding a trial. The Court Clerk will provide you the pre-trial information via mail or email.
- Guilty – You accept responsibility for your actions, or
- No-Contest – Similar to guilty, but you’re not admitting personal liability - which could have been used against you in cases where bodily injury or property damages are claimed.
In both Guilty and No-Contest pleas you will have the opportunity to make a statement after which the judge will review your case, and factors including your statement, the officer’s statement and any prior record, before rendering judgement. Forfeitures will be due immediately; however, you may be granted time to pay or alternate arrangements if indigent.
Initial Appearances are held the third Wednesday of the month. Adult citations will be addressed starting at 2:00 p.m. Juvenile citations will be addressed starting at 3:30 p.m. Juvenile proceedings are closed to the public and parent or guardian participation is required.
Defendants may be granted a continuance if requested, which can be done by mail, email, or phone. Defendants must advise the Court in writing within 5 days of any change in address while their case is pending, and may retain an attorney at their own expense.
Questions can be directed to the Municipal Court Clerk at email@example.com or (920) 623-5922.