The Municipal Court handles parking, traffic, and city ordinance citations issued by the Independence Police Department.
Traffic citations can be handled at the clerk’s office between the hours of 8:00 AM – 11:30 AM, 12:30 PM – 5:00 PM, Monday-Friday. All business must be finalized no later than 4:30 PM the day before your court appearance.
Frequently Asked Questions
A city ordinance violation is a violation of the Independence Municipal Code (IMC). The IMC contains all the laws (“ordinances”) enacted by the City Council. Civil infractions can be a one-time occurrence or may be a continuous violation with the possibility of penalties accruing each day. Though a civil penalty (a fine) may be assessed for a civil infraction, it is not a criminal offense.
Typical civil infractions include neighborhood nuisances such as noxious vegetation (weeds and grass over 10″ in height), accumulations of rubbish or junk, obstructed sidewalks, unsanitary conditions, hazardous buildings and inoperable automobiles in residential yards. Other common civil infractions include illegal signs, business license violations, building code violations and zoning violations.
The purpose of arraignment is to tell the judge how you wish to proceed with your case. Arraignments usually begin at 5:30 p.m. on the first WEDNESDAY of each month. You should arrive before the scheduled time (which appears on your ticket) and check in at the front desk before entering the courtroom.
There are two options at arraignment:
- You can plead NOT GUILTY if you wish to contest the charge against you and go to trial. The trial ordinarily is scheduled within a three-month time period.
- You can plead NO CONTEST. If you choose this option, you can explain the circumstances. Your fine or other penalty, assessed by the Judge, would depend on your explanation, your driving record, and the seriousness of the offense.
A plea of NO CONTEST under Oregon Law results in a guilty finding by the court. The benefit to a no contest plea is that you do not have to admit guilt in open court. A plea of no contest will result in a conviction being entered on your driving record.
If you do not follow any order of the court, including an order to pay a fine, your driver’s license will be suspended, and you may be subject to further court costs.
At trial, you and the police officer will appear in court to present evidence about your citation. Evidence can include the testimony of you and the officer, the testimony of any witnesses, and documents, photographs, diagrams or video. Non-attorney trials are informal and take 30 minutes or less. The judge will hear the evidence and normally make a decision at the end of the trial. If you choose to hire an attorney, make sure that he or she notifies the court as soon as possible, no later than 5 days prior to the trial. A new trial date will be set. If you fail to appear for trial, the court may enter a judgment against you which can include a fine and court costs. The conviction will be entered on your driving record.
Disclaimer: The information provided on this site does not constitute legal advice. It is offered for your information only. While we make every effort to provide reliable information, there is no guarantee as to its accuracy. For legal advice specific to your situation, contact your lawyer or call the Oregon State Bar’s Lawyer Referral Service at 503-684-3763 or toll-free in Oregon at 800-452-7636.