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Kansas City Municipal Court

Kansas City Municipal Court Traffic Attorneys
Kansas City, MO Traffic Court
Kansas City Traffic Lawyers

Did you get a ticket in Kansas City, Missouri?

In 2017, Kansas City Municipal Court issued 62,191 tickets. Stop Sign, Electric Signal Violation, Driving While Suspended, Possession of Marijuana, or any other ticket, our Crestwood traffic lawyers can handle it where “no points” is the goal.

Kansas City  Speeding Ticket Traffic Law Defense

Did you receive a Speeding ticket in Kansas City?
Our Kansas City traffic lawyers handle speeding ticket defense, where “no points” is the goal.

Let our Kansas City traffic law attorneys start helping you today. Fill out the form on the side of this page.

This page contains Court information and links for Kansas City, Missouri.

Kansas City Municipal Court
511 E. 11th St.
Kansas City, MO 64106
Phone: 816-513-5700
Fax: 816-513-6782

City of Kansas City, MO website.

Presiding Judge
Hon. Keith R. Ludwig

Court Administrator
Megan Pfannenstiel

Office Hours
Monday-Friday 8:00am – 5:00 pm excluding Holidays

Court times

Our courtroom docket times are 9 a.m., 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m., and 3:30 p.m.

The Court recommends you arrive 30 to 45 minutes before your scheduled hearing to allow enough time to go through security. Defendants are responsible for being on time and present in court when their cases are called. Those who are not could have a warrant issued for their arrest for failing to appear for the hearing.

For information or to pay your ticket, click here.

Click the link for appropriate Court Etiquette. 

Courtroom A – Judge Ardie A. Bland
Mental Health Court: Tuesday at 1:30 p.m.
Veterans Treatment Court: Wednesday at 1:30 p.m.
Courtroom B – Presiding Judge Keith R. Ludwig
Courtroom C – Judge Martina L. Peterson
Courtroom D – Judge Corey A. Carter
Truancy Court: Tuesdays at 9 a.m.
Courtroom E – Judge Courtney A. Wachal
Domestic Violence Court: Monday – Friday at 9:00 a.m.
Courtroom F – Judge Anne J. LaBella
Drug Court: Thursday at 1:30 p.m.
Courtroom G – Judge Katherine B. Emke
Courtroom H – Judge Joseph H. Locascio
Courtroom I – Judge Todd D. Wilcher
Housing Court: Monday all day; Tuesday – Thursday at 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.
Animal Violations: Tuesday and Wednesday at 10:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.
Fire Code Violations: Thursday at 11:00 a.m.

 

A call to put teeth back into enforcing traffic violations

Did the 2015 municipal court reforms for traffic violations go too far?

That is the subject of a great editorial by the Kansas City Star a few weeks ago talking about how too many people with traffic tickets are not paying their fines and are getting away with it. Since the state-wide municipal court reform after the Ferguson uprising, there doesn’t seem to be any punishment for not paying fines and not showing up to court.

In many communities, traffic violators have figured out that they don’t need to show up to court because the effective tools of punishment such as higher fines, warrants for not showing up to court, or suspending a person’s license is not an option.

Maximum fines were lowered from $500 to $225. Many cities coffers are severely depleted and are finding it difficult to impossible to enforce law violators without an adequate budget. This has also carried over to enforcement of residential nuisance ordinances that are designed to keep housing safe, particularly with abandoned properties.

For example, one person who didn’t show up to court in a town near Kansas City had been arrested four times for a $450 ticket from 2015 for driving with no insurance and driving with a suspended license. She still hasn’t paid, and likely never will.

One judge was quoted as saying, “These people just continue to drive, except they don’t drive to court.”

One state senator tried to pass a bill to put some teeth back into law enforcement. His idea was that if a citizen fails to show up for a court date, a judge could order community service, issue a civil fine or put a hold on a driver’s license.

The editorial calls for Missouri to revisit its 2015 reforms with the goal of restoring some authority to its municipal courts to better find a balance between being overbearing on constituency and effectively punishing and enforcing our traffic laws. Because as the editorial states, “As of now, they’ve been effectively defanged.”

Cities causing home owners to make up for traffic ticket revenue drops

Drivers are no longer the only people that need to watch out for overzealous small cities seeking to raise money instead of raising taxes. Now homeowners are being aggressively targeted to pay fines related to housing violations.

Apparently, the use of traffic violations is not the only way small cities are raising money to run their towns. A recent trend, especially in the St. Louis region since the post-Ferguson Court Reform that capped the amount of revenue raised from traffic tickets, is for cities to pursue neighborhood ordinance nuisance violations.

What we saw in the St. Louis metro area since post Ferguson also takes place around the country. New stats compiled shows that many cities are using these tactics to raise money and that several St. Louis area municipals remain among the top practitioners.

Cash-strapped towns and cities across the nation don’t want to raise taxes to pay the costs of running their cities. Instead, they are using their nuisance laws — with fines and fees for minor traffic violations and violations of local housing codes — to balance their budgets.

For example, in Mountain View, Colorado – a town of around 500 people — made $621,099 in citation revenue in 2013, almost half its annual budget. Several other small Colorado towns in 2015 made more than 30 percent of their revenue from issuing traffic tickets.

The Institute for Justice has filed lawsuits around the country taking on these practices. One lawsuit in Pagedale, Missouri (a town of 3,300), notes that some 1,336 tickets were issued to 896 individuals for housing violations between a seven-year period (January 2010-September 2017). That would mean 39 percent of the city’s adult population was cited.

Violations could include failure to “neatly” hang drapes or curtains; small tears in screen doors; hosting a barbecue in front yards; failure to keep beer away from the grill; etc. A consent decree was negotiated recently that settles the case. The settlement includes reforms on how the City identifies, tickets, and tries those accused of violating its municipal code.

Below is a list of several jurisdictions that heavily rely upon the use of fines and fees to raise revenues. Many of this are right here in Missouri. Statistics were gathered from a 2012 analysis of cities by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, 2017. Here’s an excellent article on that best explains and breaks down this trend towards taxation by ticket.

Dependent Cities using fines and fees to raise revenue
CITY STATE FINES AS PERCENT OF REVENUE

Saint Ann Missouri 30.40%
North Hills New York 25.60%
Clarkston Georgia 24.40%
Morrow Georgia 22.70%
Stone Mountain Georgia 22.10%
Doraville Georgia 20.60%
Cedarhurst New York 18.80%
Riverdale Georgie 18.70%
St. Johns Missouri 18.00%
Willow Springs Illinois 17.10%
Great Neck Plaza New York 15.80%
Riverdale Dark Maryland 15.70%
Sunset Utah 14.50%
Oakland Tennessee 14.50%
Bellafontaine Neighbors Missouri 14.40%
Millersville Tennessee 14%
College Park Maryland 13.60%
Ferguson Missouri 12.90%
Lake Dallas Texas 12.80%
Maryland Heights Missouri 12.60%
Snellville Georgia 12.40%
Gretna Louisiana 12.20%
Dardenne Prairie Missouri 11.90%
Laurel Maryland 11.80% $66,355 7.80% 29.50%
Los Fresnos Texas 11.50% $39,149 33.10% 1.20%
U.S. AVERAGE 1.40% $54,651 15.60% 78.30%

Creve Coeur Municipal Court

Located in St. Louis County

Creve Coeur Municipal Court Jody Caswell, Court Clerk 300 N. New Ballas Rd

Creve Coeur, MO 63141

(314) 432-8844 (314) 432-1962 (facsimile)

http://www.creve-coeur.org/101/Municipal-Court

Prosecuting Attorney Richard Bresnahan, Esq.

Court Dates and Docket Dates Wednesday Evenings at 6:00pm

Payment Docket begin at 5:00pm

Housing Dockets at 4:00pm

Hours The office hours are 8:30 am –4:00pm, weekdays. Wednesday the Court closes at 3:30pm.

In 2012, the Municipality of Creve Coeur filed almost 20,000 tickets. Did you get a ticket in the municipality of Creve Coeur? What should you do?

If you received a moving violation you have 3 options:

  1. Pay it
  2. Go to court and try to fight it yourself
  3. Hire an attorney.

If you pay it, there will be points assessed to your license. This can cause your insurance rates to go up and/or cause your license to be suspended. Eight points in 18 months can result in a license suspension.

If you try to fight it yourself, the first time you appear in court, your case will not be heard. You will be required to wait and then stand in front of the judge to plead guilty or not guilty. If you plead not guilty, the judge will set your case for trial and you will have to come back at another date. Taking care of the ticket yourself will result in at least two court appearances taking upwards of an hour a piece. Then if you lose, you will be required to pay the fine anyway.

If you hire an attorney, you will likely avoid the appearance and our goal is to get your moving violation amended to a non-moving violation. We have worked in the Creve Coeur Municipal for over 15 years. We work with the prosecuting attorney to get your ticket reduced. Often we are successful getting the ticket amended to Other Parking Violation instead of a moving violation. We then notify you via email and hard copy and all you have to do is mail in your payment. Usually this process requires no appearance in court on your part saving you time and energy. For a free consultation, fill out our easy ticket submission form and one of our attorneys will contact you.

Creve Coeur MIP Defense

  • Our Creve Coeur MIP lawyers handle MIP defense, where the object is keeping your record clean and your driver license from being suspended

Creve Coeur DWI Defense

  • Our Creve Coeur DWI attorneys handle drunk driving defense, where your driver license and your freedom are at stake. In 2012, Creve Coeur filed 222 alcohol or drug related charges.

Let our Creve Coeur Traffic Lawyers start helping you today. Contact Us

Creve Coeur Traffic Court Information

This page contains Court information Links for Creve Coeur, Missouri.

 

MO Speeding Ticket Lawyers | MO DWI Lawyers | MO MIP Lawyers

 

Missouri Speeding Ticket Defense | Missouri MIP Defense | Missouri DWI Defense

 

Kinloch officials ordered to court to explain traffic ticket

A St. Louis County circuit court judge ordered City of Kinloch offices to appear in court to explain why they allegedly would not allow a citizen to contest a traffic ticket she received last month.

The individual, Kathy Grant of Florissant, received a $125 traffic ticket in the mail on March 6.  The ticket accused her of driving 51-mph in a 40-mph speed zone on North Hanley Road in Kinloch on February 16. 

Grant denies she was speeding.  The ticket was mailed to Grant’s husband but she admits she was the driver of the car, heading to work that day.

The ticket showed a photo of the back of Grant’s car and license plate but no photo of the driver.  Also, the ticket did not contain a specific address as to where she was caught speeding. 

 The ticket payment date for the fine was April 5, however, she gave her ticket to an attorney to handle.

According to court documents, Circuit Court Judge Douglas R. Beach ordered City Manager Justine Blue, Kinloch Mayor Darren Small, and a Kinloch judge, Christopher Bent, to appear in court last week on May 11 to explain why the ticket was not a violation of Missouri law.

The ticket apparently allows the fine to be paid directly to a private company, and was not filed in Kinloch municipal court, according to the order.

Apparently a party had asked the Municipal Court for a trial on the allegations against them.  They were told that the notice was not a ticket. At this point, due process was not granted nor is it available to challenge the notice, the judge’s order stated.

The concern is that the notices are misleading to the public that they are part of the court process with due process of law.

 

MO Appellate Court rules on State’s driving eligibility rule

The Missouri Court of Appeals Eastern District (Division Three) held last week that Missouri substantive law governs the Director or Revenue’s decisions when it comes to issuance, suspension, or revocation of a Missouri license regardless of the driver’s home state at the time of conviction. The interstate Driver License Compact does not supplant the Missouri 10-year ineligibility rule under §302.060(9), the appellate court said.

 

Here is the background of the case.  The Director of Revenue appealed the trial court’s judgment ordering the DOR to issue a Missouri driver’s license to William Thanner.

 

Thanner received three DWI convictions while residing in Georgia between 1996 and 2010. He completed all requirements for reinstatement in Georgia and had a valid Georgia license when he moved in 2015 to Missouri. The Director of DOR denied Thanner’s application for a Missouri license, citing §302.060(9) imposing a 10-year ban following two or more DWI convictions. Upon judicial review, the trial court ordered the Director to issue Thanner a Missouri license, reasoning that Thanner’s Georgia license was entitled to reciprocity under the interstate Driver License Compact (§302.600).

 

The trial court’s judgment is reversed, and the cause is remanded for the trial court to reinstate the Director’s denial of Thanner’s application for an unrestricted license and proceed on his request for limited driving privileges.

 

 The opinion was written by Judge’s Lisa Van Amburg with judges Angela T. Quigless and Robert G. Dowd, Jr., concurring. The attorney for Appellant was Rachel Jones and the attorney for Respondent was Keith Liberman.

 

The appellate court stated the following as to its analysis:

 

“Here, the trial court adopted Thanner’s rationale and conclusions of law, relying entirely on a dissent opining that §302.160 applies only to drivers holding a Missouri license when the out-of-state offense occurred, and citing full faith and credit without analysis.2 Johnston v. Director of Revenue, 305 S.W.3d 465 (Mo. App. E.D. 2010). In that case, a Kentucky driver was convicted of DWI in 1996, but his conviction was not affirmed on appeal until 2006. In the interim, Johnston’s conviction remaining unreported, and he moved to Missouri and obtained a Missouri license in 2005. When the Kentucky DWI conviction was finally affirmed and reported in 2006, the Director suspended Johnston’s Missouri license. Despite the fact that Kentucky was Johnston’s home state at the time of the offense, this court affirmed the Director’s suspension, reasoning that the Director was entitled to rely on the conviction date as reported by Kentucky. While unusual on its chronological facts, Johnston remains instructive for its adherence to a strict liability approach to Missouri’s 10-year rule under §302.060(9), consistent with other appellate decisions cited above.

 

Thanner did not develop his full faith and credit argument into legal analysis and essentially abandoned it at oral argument, conceding that it does not mandate reciprocal recognition of state-specific licenses (e.g., drivers, teachers, lawyers).  Simply put, Missouri substantive law controls the Director’s issuance, suspension, or revocation of a Missouri license regardless of the driver’s home state at the time of the conviction. Nothing in the Compact mandates differential treatment.”

Appellate Court rules on breathalyzer certification check

A recent Missouri Court of Appeals Eastern District decision reversed and remanded the lower court by holding that a trial court erred in excluding the test result from evidence because the Director of Revenue laid a proper foundation for its admission.

The Department of Health and Senior Services regulation 19 CSR 25-30.051(4) requires annual certification of any breath alcohol simulator used to perform a maintenance check on an evidential breath analyzer. The Court went on to say that to lay a foundation for the admission of a breath test result at trial, the Director only need submit proof the simulator was certified at the time of the relevant maintenance check.  In this case, that check was performed within 35 days prior to the Driver’s breath test. The Court said the Director does not have to submit proof of certification from any other year for purposes of admissibility.

The Director of Revenue had appealed from the judgment of the trial court reinstating the driving privileges of Justin Scott Hickenbotham.  The Director argued on appeal that the trial court erred in reinstating the driver’s driving privileges because the court erred in excluding from evidence the breath test result showing Driver’s blood alcohol content exceeded the legal limit.

The opinion was written by Judges Sherri B. Sullivan and Roy L. Richter.  Judge Colleen Dolan concurred.  Rachel Jones was the attorney for Appellant.  Attorneys for Respondent were Chastidy Dillon-Amelung and John F. Newsham.  The case was Justin Scott Hickenbotham v. Department of Revenue.

The Court referenced several previous cases in its analysis and stated the following: “Sellenriek’s and Kern’s reasoning that the only relevant evidence is that which demonstrates compliance when the breath test was administered is still good law and applies in this case. See Harrell, 488 S.W.3d at 208. As with the maintenance check provision, implicit in 19 CSR 25-30.051(4) is that a breath analyzer simulator certified at the time of the relevant maintenance check is capable of accurately calibrating the breath analyzer. Carey v. Dir. of Rev., —- S.W.3d —- (Mo. App. E.D. March 28, 2017); see Sellenriek, 826 S.W.2d at 340. Nothing in the regulations suggests the accuracy of the simulator at the time of the maintenance check is dependent on the certification of the simulator in prior or subsequent years. See Sellenriek, 826 S.W.2d at 340; Harrell, 488 S.W.3d at 208. “The Director need not prove the existence of certifications before the one in effect at the time of the relevant maintenance check in order to comply with 19 CSR 25-30.051(4).” Carey, —- S.W.3d —-. Instead, a foundation for the admission of the breath test result is laid when the Director presents evidence the simulator was certified at the time of the relevant maintenance check. Harrell, 488 S.W.3d at 208.

“Evidence of whether the simulator was properly certified in prior or subsequent years

goes to the weight of the breath test result, not its admissibility. See Kern, 936 S.W.2d at 862. Furthermore, Driver’s interpretation of 19 CSR 25-30.051(4) would mean a simulator not certified in 2013 or any subsequent year is effectively unusable and fails to account for simulators brought into use any time after 2013, an illogical reading leading to irrational results.”

The Court went on to say that in the present case: “The Director laid a sufficient foundation for admission of the result of the breath test administered in 2015 by submitting the 2015 simulator certification. The Director’s point on appeal is granted. Because the court did not make a finding as to whether Trooper Ganime had probable cause to arrest Driver, the cause is remanded for additional findings by the trial court.”

A $3.00 court fee applied to traffic tickets now under scrutiny

A $3.00 court fee charged to municipal court tickets that funds sheriff’s pensions is under scrutiny in Missouri.

Missouri’s municipal courts began in 2014 to charge a $3.00 court fee to defendants to help fund the Sheriffs’ Retirement Fund. However, some judges and legal scholars are questioning whether the charge is constitutional because the sheriff’s department does not operate at the municipal level.

As many retirement funds for government workers were having trouble receiving funding in Missouri and other states, that has not been the case for the sheriff’s fund. The $3.00 charge ended up increasing the retirement fund significantly, up more than $10 million in assets between 2012 and 2015.

Many sheriff employees throughout the state, particularly in rural areas, receive low wages and depend upon the fund’s pension to live off of after retirement.

The attorney general at the time, Chris Koster, issued three opinions that indicated the $3.00 court fee that funds sheriff’s pensions should be applied to the state’s municipal courts. The Missouri Supreme Court, which prior to this third opinion issued, had not approved the fee to be used at the municipal court level. But this last time in 20163 the court approved it, adding the fee to traffic tickets and other tickets at the municipal level in 2014. The charge applied to all municipal courts except for St. Louis County and the City of St. Louis.

Approximately 362 of the 608 cities, villages and towns in Missouri that have a municipal court may be refusing to charge the $3.00 sheriffs fun charge to municipal court cases. This now has the Sheriffs’ Retirement System seeking help to the municipal level governments to charge the fee and pass on the money.

C.F. Barnes, executive director of the retirement system, sent letters on March 6 to Circuit Clerks in 102 Missouri counties, asking them to enforce the Missouri Supreme Court’s August 2013 order to apply the surcharge to court cases.

This is setting up a fight between the Supreme Court, municipal courts and the Sheriffs’ Retirement Fund. Stay tuned as this story progresses.

Mo. looking to educate drivers on how to interact with police

To avoid violent and sometimes deadly encounters between drivers and the police, the Missouri legislature is proposing bills that would help educate both motorists and the police on proper conduct.

The state of Illinois recently passed a bill that sets out a set of rules of engagement for drivers and the police to follow. A similar bill in Virginia is set to be passed.  There are also a few states considering doing the same: Mississippi, North Carolina, New Jersey, and Rhode Island.

The idea is to make traffic stops and police interactions more transparent by educating both sides on how to behave. The so called “Rules of the Road” adopted in Illinois this February is a model for other states when it comes to the details of proper and safe driver behavior that can help reduce the stress during a police encounter.

In Missouri, leaders want to include the information as part of the driver’s examination, and even have suggested making a video that would have to be watched. 

The Illinois guidelines suggest the following:

If your driver’s license or insurance card are in the glove box or under the seat, wait until the officer arrives and inform him or her about it and ask permission to retrieve them.

Be sure to keep both hands on the steering wheel in plain view and leave them there until you are instructed otherwise.

Never exit the vehicle unless you are asked to do so.  Getting out of your vehicle gives the impression that you are being aggressive and could be a potential threat to the officer.

Other suggestions are to always be polite and cooperative and avoid arguing the officer.  You can always fight your case in court if you feel your rights have been violated. 

If you are concerned that the officer may be a fake officer, roll down the window a little and tell the officer and state that you would like to go to a public place to conduct the stop.  Most officers will allow this unless they have a reasonable suspicion that you could be intoxicated or impaired in some way.

Finally, when stopped, turn off the engine, so the officer knows you will not try to take off and potentially hit him.  Then turn on the internal lights and open the window partway before the officer gets to your window.  And, of course again, keep your hands on the wheel.

St. Louis County Municipal court revenue down since Ferguson unrest

Looks as if the amount of revenue from St. Louis area municipal courts is way down since the social unrest in 2014 after the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson. This is according to research tabulated in an annual report by the Missouri state court system.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch tabulated information from the report and found that the data shows there has been a significant drop in revenue collected by municipal courts in St. Louis County.  Revenue was down from $53 million in fines and fees collected in year ending June 2014 to $29 million in year ending June 2016.

A similar trend can be seen in the number of traffic cases in the city of St. Louis.  The number of traffic cases filed last year fell to 66,008. This represents a drop of 69 percent compared to two years ago.

The data shows that the number of traffic cases in Ferguson last year, 1,736, had dropped 85 percent from two years ago, and non-traffic cases were down a similar percentage.  Fergusons court revenue plummeted from more than $2 million two years ago to just $579,000 this last year.  Ferguson had been under fire from the U.S. Department of Justice in the aftermath of Michael Brown. 

Ferguson’s municipal court system had been the target of a scathing U.S. Department of Justice report as well as intense scrutiny from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and other media.  Local attorneys can tell you that the long lines out the door are no longer the case.

Other cities in North County known for their intense speed traps along the I-70 corridor have also seen a drop in revenue, according to the court report.

St. Ann, for example, saw revenue drop nearly a million dollars from $2.6 million two years ago to $1.7 million this last year. Tickets issued fell during that same time period from over 25,000 to 9,880. 

Florissant municipal court revenue went from $2.6 million to $1.7 million. Normandy fell from $1.4 million to slightly over $788,000.  Pine Lawn dropped from $2,2 million to $652,925.  Berkeley was down from $1.2 million to $378,327.