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Municipal Court

Contact Information
Patty Hagg
Court Clerk

Hon. William Pray
Judge

Michael Kelly
Prosecuting Attorney

Geoff Sontagg
Court Appointed Attorney

Robin McDowell
Probation Officer

(913) 845-2620 ext. 1030
Fax (913) 845-9760
phagg@tonganoxie.org

Office Address

City Hall
321 S. Delaware
Tonganoxie, KS 66086

Days and Hours
Monday - Friday
8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Court Times
3rd wed of each month.
1 p.m. (doors open at noon)

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About the office:

The Tonganoxie Municipal Court serves to uphold all municipal laws of the City. Any questions regarding court matters should be directed to Patty Hagg, the Municipal Court Clerk at (913) 845-2620, phagg@tonganoxie.org.

The City of Tonganoxie accepts MasterCard and Visa as well as check, money order, or cash. Fines can be paid during business hours at City Hall. 
Online, there is a minimal fee for this service. This will be set up only once online payments are available.

Appearance in Court

The following rules are required during a court appearance. Persons in violation may be required to surrender said item to the court and shall be returned to the rightful owner as directed by the Judge.

  1. Appropriate clothing and shoes will be worn. No hats allowed.
  2. Food and drinks are not allowed in the courtroom.
  3. While court is in session, talking is not allowed, except authorized personnel.
  4. There will be no cell phones in use during court. ALL CELL PHONES MUST BE TURNED OFF OR SET TO VIBRATE.
  5. NO WEAPONS allowed in court.
  6. If under 18 you must have a parent or guardian present.


Before Court Begins

You must decide upon and enter a plea to the charge against you. If you signed a citation in front of an officer, you did not plead guilty, you only signed a promise to appear in court on the appearance date.
There are three possible pleas:

  1. "Guilty"
  2. "Not Guilty"
  3. "No Contest"

YOUR DECISION ON WHAT PLEA YOU ENTER IS THE MOST IMPORTANT DECISION THAT YOU WILL HAVE TO MAKE. WE SUGGEST THAT YOU READ EXPLANTIONS BEFORE ENTERING YOUR PLEA.

Explanations of Your Plea

By a plea of GUILTY, you admit you committed the act charged, the act is prohibited by law and you have no defense for your act. Before entering a plea of guilty you need to understand the following:

  1. The City has the burden of proving its case against you. You have the right to hear the City's evidence and to require the City to prove its case when you go to trial.
  2. If you were involved in a traffic accident at the time of the alleged offence, your plea of guilty could be used later in a civil suit for damages as an admission by you that you were at fault or were the party responsible for the accident.

A plea of NOT GUILTY means you are informing the Court you deny the charges against you. If you plead not guilty, you will need to decide whether to employ an attorney to represent you at trial. You may defend yourself, but no one else except an attorney may represent you. If you are under 18 years of age, a parent or guardian should be present. If you defend yourself, please consult The Trial Process and the manner of Presenting Your Case shown below.

A plea of NO CONTEST simply means you are informing the Court you deny charges against you, but you wish to talk to the Judge about mitigating circumstances. Judgment will be entered by the Judge and some penalty will be set. A PLEA OF NO CONTEST CANNOT BE USED AGAINST YOU IN A CIVIL SUIT FOR DAMAGES.Under our American system of justice, all persons are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. On a plea of "Not Guilty" a trial is held and the City is required to prove all the allegations against you as contained in the formal complaint "beyond a reasonable doubt" before a verdict of guilty can be reached.

The Trial

Under Kansas Law, you can be brought to trial only after a complaint or traffic citation(s) has been filed. The complaint or citation is a document which alleges what you have done and that your actions were unlawful.

  1. You have a right to inspect this complaint before trial.
  2. You DO NOT have the right to have your case tried before a jury in Municipal Court.
  3. You are entitled to hear all testimony introduced about you.
  4. You have a right to testify on your own behalf. You also have a constitutional right not to testify. If you choose not to testify, your refusal cannot and will not be used against you in determining your guilt or innocence. However, if you choose to testify, the prosecutor will have the right to cross-examine you.
  5. You may call witnesses to testify on your own behalf. You also have the right to have the court issue subpoenas for witnesses to ensure their appearance at trial. However, you must furnish the names, addresses and telephone numbers of the witnesses to the court at least 10 working days before your trial date, so the witness may be served. The court will only serve subpoenas with the City; any service outside the City will be your responsibility.
  6. Presenting Your Case

As in all trials, the City will present its case first by calling witnesses to testify against you.
After each prosecution's witness has finished his/her testimony, you will have the right to cross-examine him/her. Your examination must be in the form of a question and you must not argue with the witness. Do not attempt to tell your side of the story at this time. You will have an opportunity to do so later in the trail. After the prosecution has presented its case, you may present your case. You have the right to call any witness who knows anything about the incident and to introduce exhibits such as photographs and diagrams.

The Verdict
The verdict of the Judge will be based on the testimony which sounds most reasonable and on the facts presented during the trial. In making the determination the Judge can consider testimony of any witness under oath. If you are found not guilty by the Judge the case is closed and you will owe no fines. If you are found guilty by the Judge, the Judge will announce the penalty and you should be prepared to pay the fine at that time. However, you may be granted an extension of 10 working days to appeal the ruling of the Judge.

Right to Appeal
If you are not satisfied with the judgment of the Court, you have the right to appeal your case to the Leavenworth County District Court. If you do appeal the Judge's judgment, you must file a written notice of appeal with the Clerk of the District Court within 14 days of the date of judgment. After filing your appeal you will be assigned a new court date to appear in the Leavenworth County District Court for a new arraignment date. After arraignment another date will then be scheduled for a completely new trial before a different judge or jury in the Court.

Fines
The amount of fines assessed by the Court is affected by the facts and circumstances of the case. Mitigating circumstances may lower the fines, even if you are guilty. However, aggravated circumstances may increase the fines. All fines are assessed by the Judge.

Accident Cases
The Municipal Court has no jurisdiction over damages caused by an auto accident. Settlement of damages is a matter for a Civil Court to decide and in order to recover for any damages you will have to file a separate civil suit in another Court. Municipal Court hears only criminal misdemeanor cases in violation of city ordinances.

    Fees

    Pursuant to Chapter IX, Article 1, Section 9-113, court fees are to be paid by those who have been found guilty in municipal court. These fees are in addition to any fine imposed by the judge:

    • Traffic Offense - $50
    • Other Offenses - $80
    • Supervised Probation - $100
    • Unsupervised Probation - $25
    • Fingerprinting - $25
    • Anyone detained in Leavenworth County jail will be charged an amount equal to the cost of the detainment.

    Effective July 1992, the State of Kansas has ordered the Municipal Courts to collect a fee on each case that involves a moving violation, criminal charge or violation of city ordinance. The fee is forwarded to the State of Kansas and goes to the Law Enforcement Training Center Fund. There is also a fee for the Judicial Education Fund. The City is required to collect this fee which is forwarded to the State of Kansas. These fees are factored into your fine amount.