Court Schedule & Appearances
The Clearwater Municipal Court meets on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month beginning at 6:00 p.m. The Municipal Court is located within the Clearwater City Hall building at 129 East Ross, Clearwater, Kansas. Phone 620-584-2317; fax 620-584-3118. The Court Clerk is available during court sessions, as well as during the week Monday through Friday, 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
If you are scheduled to appear in court, it is best to arrive a few minutes early. The Court requests that when defendants do appear in court that they sit quietly and without disruption until they are called to the bench. Please be respectful during court sessions. Make sure cell phones and other media are turned off. Food and drinks are not permitted during court sessions.
Defendants are required to appear before the court on all misdemeanor charges and some traffic-infraction charges unless otherwise noted on the back of the citation received from the police officer. Tickets such as speeding, failure to yield stop sign, minor in possession of cigarettes or tobacco products, etc., can be paid to the Municipal Court Clerk on or before the scheduled court appearance date. If payment is made prior to court, then an appearance is not required.
When you receive a traffic ticket or notice to appear for a serious or misdemeanor offense (i.e. drive while driver’s license is suspended, revoked or in violation of restrictions, no driver’s license in possession, no proof of insurance, DUI, any alcohol/drug related and all battery charges), your appearance is required. Failure to appear will result in a warrant being issued for your arrest, as well as notification of possible suspension of your driver’s license depending upon your charge.
The Municipal Court runs several types of dockets each court session.
Arraignment/Appearance Docket. This begins with your appearance before the Court and is a reading of the charges and taking of a plea. The Judge will call your name and at that time you are given the opportunity to enter your plea. Should you plead not guilty, the judge will set the matter for trial. At time of arraignment, a defendant can also request to speak with the City Prosecutor about the charges against him/her. If a defendant pleads guilty, then the judge will pass sentence or refer the matter to for a pre-sentence investigation. This is dependent upon the charges.
Disposition Docket. This docket is designed for defendants who are requesting additional time in which to make a plea, or is a continuance set by the prosecutor to give additional time to investigate and/or negotiate the charges.
Diversion Docket. This docket is set for defendants who have applied for diversion on charges such as a DUI, minor in possession of alcohol, or other type of misdemeanor charge. The City Prosecutor determines acceptance into the diversion program. The Clearwater Municipal Court does not do diversions on traffic charges.
Non-Jury Trial Docket. Each defendant, by right of the U.S. Constitution, is entitled to a trial. This is a trial to the court, not a jury. The City and the defendant present a case according to the rules of evidence. Based upon the evidence and the law, the Judge will then determine if a defendant is guilty or not guilty. Please refer to trial procedures below. This information is also available from the court.
Pay or Appear Docket. This docket is set for defendants who have requested additional time to pay their fines. A date is set for the defendant to have either paid the fines in full or appear before the Court and answer why the fines have not been paid. If a defendant has paid the fine in full on or before the scheduled court date, then appearance is not required. However, if the payment is not paid prior to Court, then the defendant must appear before the court to request additional time to pay. If the defendant fails to appear, either a letter will be sent assessing additional fees, or a warrant will be issued.
Review Docket. This docket is set by the Judge to monitor certain cases and a defendant’s progress with probation.
Show Cause/Probation Violation Docket. This docket is set for defendants who have not complied with the terms of their probation and must report to the court as to the violation charges.
Should a defendant request his/her case to be heard by trial, the following procedures may be helpful in understanding the court procedures of a trial.
Step One: All those who expect to testify for the prosecution are sworn in.
Step Two: The prosecution has the burden to show that you are guilty as charged. To do this the prosecutor will bring forward witnesses who will testify to what they observed. The witnesses may be police officers, civilians, or both.
Step Three: After each of the City’s witnesses has answered the prosecutor’s questions, you will be given the opportunity to question the witness. You may present your side of the case later.
Step Four: When the City finishes:
(a) You may remain silent. Your silence will not be an admission of guilt. You are not required to prove your innocence.
(b) You may put on witnesses to testify on your behalf.
(c) You may testify under oath and be questioned as any other witness.
(d) You may make an argument if you wish.
Step Five: The judge will make a decision of Guilty or Not Guilty based on the facts presented and the law of the case.
Should a defendant receive an alcohol or drug related offense, he/she may be eligible to apply for diversion. A diversion is a deferred type sentence; wherein if a defendant completes the conditions of his diversion sentence, then the case is considered dismissed. Please note that on all DUI offenses, you are only eligible for diversion on a first (lifetime) offense. Once a defendant applies for diversion, he is required to obtain a drug & alcohol evaluation. The results of this evaluation will determine whether a defendant is eligible for the diversion program. Juan Dominguez of South Central Kansas Court Services in Wichita, Kansas conducts the drug & alcohol evaluations for the Clearwater Municipal Court.
Payment of Fines and Costs
All fines and costs are to be paid to the Clearwater Municipal Court and can be paid as follows:
- By mail to the City of Clearwater, P.O. Box 453, Clearwater, Kansas 67026
- By personal payment at the City of Clearwater, 129 East Ross, Clearwater, Kansas
- By putting in drop box located on the east side of the Clearwater City Building, 129 East Ross, Clearwater, Kansas.
All payments can be paid in the form of cash, check, or money order. Credit or debit cards are now accepted at an additional cost of $3.95 per transaction.
The Clearwater Municipal Court assesses $65.00 court costs for each case filed that is an infraction, minor in possession of tobacco, dog at large, curfew violation, nuisance ordinance and sound amplifications ($44.50 assessed by the City of Clearwater; $20.00 for Law Enforcement Training, assessed by the State of Kansas; and .50 for Municipal Judges Training, assessed by the State of Kansas). Court costs on criminal cases are $130.00 for each case filed ($109.50 assessed by the City of Clearwater; $20.00 for Law Enforcement Training, assessed by the State of Kansas; and .50 for Municipal Judges Training, assessed by the State of Kansas). By law, the judge cannot waive these fees. Other fees assessed by the court are administrative fees resulting from failure to appear on traffic infractions and some misdemeanor charges of $25.00; warrant fees of $25.00; booking fees of $25.00; and fingerprint fees of $10.00.
Defendant's Right To An Attorney
Each defendant has a right to be represented by an attorney in all phases of his/her court proceedings. A defendant may retain an attorney of his/her choosing, or if determined to be indigent, have a court appoint an attorney to represent him/her. The court is not obligated to appoint an attorney to represent a defendant on a charge that carries no potential jail time. A defendant must further complete an Affidavit of Indigence sworn before the court as to his/her financial situation. Based on this information, the Judge will then determine if a defendant is eligible for a court-appointed attorney. Court-appointed attorneys are not FREE attorneys. They are appointed by the Court to represent defendants at a reduced rate. The amount charged is dependent upon the charges filed against the defendant. If convicted, the defendant will be ordered to repay the City for his/her court-appointed attorney fees.
Driver's License Suspensions
If your driver’s license has been suspended because of failure to appear in court or failure to pay fines and costs in the Clearwater Municipal Court, please contact Jo Johnson, Court Clerk, by phone or in person and she will be able to assist you with this type of suspension. If your license is suspended, you will incur an additional fee referred to as a reinstatement fee of $59.00 per charge/violation, and a $22.00 state surcharge, for a total of $81.00. This reinstatement fee must be paid in full before the Clerk can request the Kansas Department of Motor Vehicle to restore your license.
Jo Johnson, Court Clerk
Clearwater Municipal Court
129 East Ross
Clearwater, Kansas 67026
If your driver’s license is suspended for any reason other than failure to appear or unpaid fines and costs, then you must contact the Division of Motor Vehicles:
Kansas Department of Revenue
Driver Control Bureau
Docking State Office Building
Topeka, Kansas 66612
Defendants are allowed to apply for diversion on first time only alcohol offenses. Defendants will complete a diversion application and personal history form to be provided to our alcohol evaluator, Juan Dominguez, prior to or at the time of their evaluation. Should your alcohol offense be a second or third conviction after a finding of guilty, then the Judge will order a pre-sentence investigation before sentencing. Each evaluation, whether for diversion or pre-sentence investigation, is at a charge of $150.00, which must be paid to the evaluator at the time of the interview. Juan Dominguez is associated with South Central Kansas Court Services and his office is located at 1919 North Amidon, Suite 110, Wichita, Kansas 67203. He can be reached at either 620-488-3357 or 316-253-1562.
It is imperative that you keep your appointment for your alcohol evaluation. You should arrive approximately 10 to 15 minutes early to make sure you are on time. If your appointment is missed, the evaluator can charge you an additional fee for failing to appear as scheduled.
Required Alcohol Classes
If you are convicted of an alcohol violation or placed on the alcohol/drug diversion program, you may be required to attend an 8-hour Alcohol & Drug Safety Action Program (ASDAP). There are several locations that offer this class. Upon completion of the ADSAP Class, a certification of completion will be provided to the person attending the class, and the original will be forwarded to the Court.
Required Treatment Programs
Often times, as a part of his/her sentence or diversion a defendant will be ordered to attend and complete certain treatment programs. The treatment programs are dependent upon the charge of which the defendant is convicted, and there are treatment facilities that are approved by the Court. The treatment facilities and programs are located in Wichita and surrounding area.