Cass County. Cases in Municipal Court involve violations committed within the
City of Peculiar. If you have received a summons for a municipal violation, you
have certain rights and responsibilities. The purpose of this section is to help you
understand these rights.
An arraignment is your first appearance in Municipal Court. When you are issued a ticket, you are also given a court date and time to appear in Municipal Court. When you appear at your arraignment, your name will be called. When your name is called, approach the bench. The Judge will read the charge that has been filed against you. When the Judge asks you how you plead, you must say either “Guilty” or “Not Guilty”. “No Contest” pleas are not allowed in Missouri Courts.
RIGHT TO COUNSEL
If the Prosecuting Attorney is requesting that you be sentenced to jail for the violation for which you are charged, or it appears to the judge that there is a reasonable likelihood that you will be sentenced to jail, the judge will notify you before accepting a plea of guilty or not guilty. If jail is a possible punishment and you are financially eligible, the Court will appoint an attorney for you. You do not have a constitutional right to have an attorney appointed if jail is not a likely punishment.
TRIAL DE NOVO
If the Judge finds you guilty during trial, you have the right to appeal the decision. When you appeal, you are asking for a new trial. The new trial is called a Trial de Novo. Your application for Trial de Novo must be filed within ten days of the first trial. Payment of the fine or failure to file within ten days forfeits your right to appeal.
A filing fee and application of Trial de Novo must be filed with the Clerk before transferring the case to the Circuit Court who will be the court hearing your appeal. This payment must be in the form of cash or money order ONLY.
If you wish to appeal, you must tell the Judge or Municipal Court Clerk. Forms are available for appeal at the court office.