Informal & Formal Hearings

Civil Infraction Informal Hearing

The majority of contested cases are heard and decided at informal hearings.

A hearing conducted by a District Court Magistrate involving the police officer, the defendant and any witnesses, held without a prosecutor or defense attorney. The determination may be appealed to a formal hearing.

Civil Infraction Formal Hearing

A hearing conducted by a District Court Judge involving the police officer, defendant and all witnesses. Defendant may be represented by an attorney, and a prosecutor must be present.

Requesting a Hearing

To request an informal or formal hearing notify the court in person, in writing, or by phone, that you are denying responsibility for your citation and specify if you wish to have an informal or formal hearing. Please notify the court of any dates and time that you will not be available to appear for your hearing. (The court will try to accommodate reasonable requests). Also, inform the court of the address you wish to have your notice of hearing sent to if it is different from the address on your citation. A phone number where you can be reached during business hours 8:30 a.m. through 4:30 p.m. is recommended in case of any questions or further information.

Requests for informal or formal hearings must be received within 14 days from the date the ticket was issued. Failure to make a timely request for a hearing will result in entry of a default judgment against the defendant.

Hearing Appearances

If a defendant fails to appear at an informal or formal hearing the court may enter a default, determination of responsibility, and impose appropriate sanctions. It may also result in license suspension for unpaid fines, costs or fees.