Kansas Municipal Courts are the limited jurisdiction courts for the state, and they deal with local ordinance violations and minor misdemeanor infractions. Defendants may or may not use a lawyer for their case. A judge and not a jury decide all cases in Municipal Courts. Criminal cases brought to Municipal Courts are for crimes committed within the city limits. The most common type of case in Municipal Courts are traffic violations and minor offenses.
Cases from Municipal Courts may be appealed in District Court where the Municipal Court is located.
Many Municipal Court judges are not attorneys. Those who are not must be certified by the Kansas Supreme Court before being appointed to office. They also have to pass an exam and attend 13 hours of continuing education in the legal genre each year. The test and education are provided by the Supreme Court. The court website has a list of other qualifications for judges and information on self-help for those who are representing themselves in Municipal Court.
Traffic violations are most common in Municipal Court and on average they see about 167,272 traffic-related cases per year. For the past year tallied, Municipal Courts saw 354,843 total cases. Of that total, 7,850 were for DUIs.
The Kansas Judicial Branch website has a sister site that lists each Municipal Court and contact information. It is called The Kansas League of Municipalities. Their website also includes a Municipal Court Clerk Manual that details the process, the rules and statutes passed down from the Supreme Court to this court. The court website makes it easy to contact the Supreme Court, Office of Judicial Administration and the Court Clerk’s Office. Additionally, anyone may use the e-filing service for Municipal Court cases after registering for an account.