[CC 1975 §6-010]
There is hereby established in the City of Billings a Municipal Court to be known as the "Billings Municipal Court, a Division of the 38th Judicial Circuit Court of the State of Missouri". In the event a Police Court existed prior to the establishment of a Municipal Court, this Court is a continuation of the Police Court of the City as previously established and is termed herein "The Municipal Court".
Violations of municipal ordinances shall be heard and determined only before divisions of the Circuit Court as hereinafter provided in this Chapter. "Heard and determined", for purposes of this Chapter, shall mean any process under which the Court in question retains the final authority to make factual determinations pertaining to allegations of a municipal ordinance violation.
[CC 1975 §6-030; Ord. No. 589 §1, 2-7-1985]
The Judge of the City's Municipal Court shall be known as a Municipal Judge of the 38th Judicial Circuit Court and shall be selected by appointment to the position by the Mayor with approval of a majority of the members of the Board of Aldermen for a term as specified herein.
The Municipal Judge shall hold his/her office for a period of at least two (2) years. If for any reason a Municipal Judge vacates his/her office, his/her successor shall complete that term of office, even if the same be for less than two (2) years.
The Municipal Judge shall vacate his/her office under the following conditions:
The Municipal Judge shall possess the following qualifications before he/she shall take office:
He/she must be a licensed attorney, qualified to practice law within the State of Missouri.
He/she need not reside within the City.
He/she must be a resident of the State of Missouri.
He/she must be between the ages of twenty-one (21) and seventy-five (75) years.
He/she may serve as a Municipal Judge for any other municipality.
He/she may not hold any other office within the City Government.
The Municipal Judge shall be considered holding a part-time position and as such may accept other employment.
The Municipal Court of the City shall be subject to the rules of the Circuit Court of which it is a part and to the rules of the State Supreme Court. The Municipal Court shall be subject to the general administrative authority of the Presiding Judge of the Circuit Court, and the Judge and Court personnel of said Court shall obey his/her directives.
The Municipal Judge shall cause the Court Clerk to prepare, within the first ten (10) days of every month, a report indicating the following:
A list of all cases heard or tried before the Judge during the preceding month, giving in each case the name of the defendant, the fine imposed if any, the amount of costs, the names of defendants committed, and the cases in which there was an application for trial de novo, respectively. The Court Clerk or the Judge shall verify such lists and statements by affidavit and shall file the same with the City Clerk who shall lay the same before the Board of Aldermen of the City for examination at its first (1st) session thereafter. The Municipal Court shall, within the ten (10) days after the first (1st) of the month, pay to the Municipal Treasurer the full amount of all fines collected during the preceding month, if not previously paid to the Municipal Treasurer.
The Municipal Judge shall be a conservator of the peace. He/she shall keep a docket in which he/she shall enter every case commenced before him/her and the proceedings therein and he/she shall keep such other records as may be required. Such docket and records shall be records of the Circuit Court of Christian County. The Municipal Judge shall deliver said docket, records and all books and papers pertaining to his/her office to his/her successor in office or to the Presiding Judge of the Circuit.
The Municipal Judge shall be and is hereby authorized to:
Establish a Violations Bureau as provided for in the Missouri Rules of Practice and Procedure in Municipal and Traffic Courts and Section 479.050, RSMo.
Administer oaths and enforce due obedience to all orders, rules and judgments made by him/her and may fine and imprison for contempt committed before him/her while holding Court in the same manner and to the same extent as a Circuit Judge.
Stay execution of any fine or sentence, suspend any fine or sentence, and make such other orders as the Municipal Judge deems necessary relative to any matter that may be pending in the Municipal Court.
Make and adopt such rules of practice and procedure as are necessary to implement and carry out the provisions of this Chapter, and to make and adopt such rules of practice and procedure as are necessary to hear and decide matters pending before the Municipal Court, and to implement and carry out the provisions of the Missouri Rules of Practice and Procedure in Municipal and Traffic Courts.
The Municipal Judge shall have such other powers, duties and privileges as are or may be prescribed by the laws of this State, this Code or other ordinances of this City.
The Municipal Judge for the City of Billings shall be paid a sum as fixed by ordinance from time to time.
All prosecutions for the violation of municipal ordinances shall be instituted by information and may be based upon a complaint. Proceedings shall be in accordance with the Supreme Court Rules governing practice and procedure in proceedings before Municipal Judges.
There shall be established a Violations Bureau. The City shall provide all expenses incident to the operation of the same.
The said Bureau shall be located in the City Hall of Billings, Missouri.
The constituted Violations Bureau Clerk shall be the Municipal Court Clerk of the Municipal Court of Billings, Missouri.
It shall be the function of said Violations Clerk to accept appearances, waivers of trial, pleas of guilty, and payment of fine and costs in traffic offenses subject to the limitation hereinafter prescribed.
The said Violations Clerk shall serve under the direction and control of the Municipal Judge of Billings, the Presiding Judge of the Circuit Court of the 38th Judicial Circuit, and the said Municipal Court shall operate in accordance with the rules of the State of Missouri governing practice and procedure in Municipal Courts.
Traffic offenses within the authority of the Violations Clerk and the schedules of the amount of fines and costs to be paid for first (1st) and second (2nd) offenses shall be as hereafter set out.
Said designated offenses shall in no event include the following traffic cases:
Involving property damage or personal injury.
Operation of a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs or permitting another person under such influence to operate a motor vehicle owned by the defendant or in his/her custody or control.
Any second (2nd) speeding offense in a two (2) year period.
Leaving the scene of an accident.
Where the defendant has been arrested and accused of creating a hazardous, aggravated or dangerous situation.
Operating a motor vehicle with a suspended or revoked license.
Any offense not contained in the schedule of fines as provided for in Subparagraph (12) hereof.
All matters for which a plea of not guilty is entered, whether before the Violations Bureau Clerk or the Municipal Judge, shall be set for trial at the time and date as determined by the Municipal Judge. All trials shall be held in the municipal courtroom in the City Hall of Billings, Missouri.
All fines and costs from the Violations Bureau shall be paid to the Violations Bureau Clerk and deposited by the said Violations Bureau Clerk not less frequently than monthly into the Municipal Treasury.
The said Violations Bureau Clerk, within the first ten (10) days of every month, shall make out a list of all cases handled in said Violations Bureau giving in each case the name of the defendant, the fine imposed and the amount of costs. Said list shall be furnished to the Board of Aldermen of the City of Billings, Missouri, and a copy thereof forwarded to the Municipal Judge.
All expenses incident to the operations of the Violations Bureau, including salaries of clerical personnel, shall be paid by the municipality.
Designated offenses and schedule of fines and costs provided for in this Traffic Violations Bureau order shall be as reflected on the schedule on file in the City offices and shall be prominently posted in the City Hall of Billings, Missouri.
Plea — payment of fine and costs.
Non-moving offenses. Within the time stated on the summons, any person charged with a non-moving offense may mail the amount of the fine and costs, if any, indicated on the ticket for such violation, together with a signed plea of guilty and waiver of trial, to the Violations Clerk or may pay the fine and costs in person or by attorney without a signed plea of guilty or by any member of his/her immediate family with defendant's signed plea of guilty at such Violations Bureau.
Other offenses. Within the time stated on the summons, any person charged with any traffic offense, other than a non-moving offense, within the authority of the Violations Clerk may appear by attorney with a signed plea of guilty or in person or by any member of his/her immediate family before the Violations Clerk with defendant's signed plea of guilty and waiver of trial, pay the fine established for the offense charged and costs. Defendant, if present, prior to such plea, waiver and payment, shall be informed of his/her right to stand trial, that his/her signature to plea of guilty will have the same force and effect as a judgment of the Court, and that the record of conviction will be sent to the Director of Revenue of the State or the appropriate office of the State from which he/she received his/her driver's license.
Procedure after two (2) convictions. Any person who has twice been found guilty in any Court having jurisdiction of traffic cases or who has signed a plea of guilty to two (2) previous moving traffic offenses in the preceding two (2) year period or shall have been charged with such offenses without either paying a satisfaction fine or posting an appearance bond within the time required by law or has forfeited bonds for such offenses shall not be permitted to appear before the Violations Clerk but shall be required to appear before the Municipal Judge on the third (3rd) and subsequent offenses within said preceding two (2) year period.
All warrants issued by a Municipal Judge shall be directed to the Chief of Police or any other Police Officer of the municipality or to the Sheriff of the County. The warrants shall be executed by the Chief of Police, Police Officer or Sheriff at any place within the limits of the County and not elsewhere, unless the warrants are endorsed in the manner provided for warrants in criminal cases and, when so endorsed, shall be served in other Counties as provided for in warrants in criminal cases.
The Chief of Police or other Police Officer of the City may, without a warrant, make arrest of any person who commits an offense in his/her presence, but such officer shall, before the trial, file a written complaint with the Judge hearing violations of municipal ordinances.
Any person charged with a violation of a municipal ordinance of this City shall be entitled to a trial by jury as in prosecutions for misdemeanors before an Associate Circuit Court Judge. Whenever a defendant accused of a violation of a municipal ordinance has a right to and demands such trial by jury, the Municipal Court shall certify the case to the Presiding Judge of the Circuit Court for reassignment.
It shall be the duty of an attorney designated by the City to prosecute the violations of the City's ordinances before the Municipal Judge or before any Circuit Judge hearing violations of the City's ordinances. The salary or fees of the attorney and his/her necessary expenses incurred in such prosecutions shall be paid by the City. The compensation of such attorney shall not be contingent upon the number of cases tried, the number of guilty verdicts reached, or the amount of fines imposed or collected.
It shall be the duty of the Municipal Judge to summon all persons whose testimony may be deemed essential as witnesses at the trial and to enforce their attendance by attachment, if necessary. The fees of witnesses shall be the same as those fixed for witnesses in trials before Associate Circuit Court Judges and shall be taxed as other costs in the case. When a trial shall be continued by a Municipal Judge, it shall not be necessary to summon any witnesses who may be present at the continuance, but the Municipal Judge shall orally notify such witnesses as either party may require to attend before him/her on the day set for trial to testify in the case and enter the names of such witnesses on his/her docket, which oral notice shall be valid as a summons.
If, in the progress of any trial before the Municipal Judge, it shall appear to the Judge that the accused ought to be put upon trial for an offense against the criminal laws of the State and not cognizable before him/her as Municipal Judge, he/she shall immediately stop all further proceedings before him/her as Municipal Judge and cause the complaint to be made before some Associate Circuit Court Judge of the County.
If, in the opinion of the Municipal Judge, the City has no suitable and safe place of confinement, the Municipal Judge may commit the defendant to the County Jail, and it shall be the duty of the Sheriff, if space for the prisoner is available in the County Jail, upon receipt of a warrant of commitment from the Judge to receive and safely keep such prisoner until discharged by due process of law. The municipality shall pay the board of such prisoner at the same rate as may now or hereafter be allowed by law to such Sheriff for the keeping of other prisoners in his/her custody. The same shall be taxed as cost.
Any Judge hearing violations of municipal ordinances may, when in his/her judgment it may seem advisable, grant a parole or probation to any person who shall plead guilty or who shall be convicted after a trial before such Judge. When a person is placed on probation, he/she shall be given a certificate explicitly stating the conditions on which he/she is being released.
In addition to such other authority as exists to order conditions of probation, the Court may order conditions which the Court believes will serve to compensate the victim of the crime, any dependent of the victim, or society in general. Such conditions may include, but need not be limited to:
A person may refuse probation conditioned on the performance of free work. If he/she does so, the Court shall decide the extent or duration of sentence or other disposition to be imposed and render judgment accordingly. Any County, City, person, organization or agency or employee of a County, City, organization or agency charged with the supervision of such free work or who benefits from its performance shall be immune from any suit by the person placed on parole or probation or any person deriving a cause of action from him/her if such cause of action arises from such supervision of performance, except for intentional torts or gross negligence. The services performed by the probationer or parolee shall not be deemed employment within the meaning of the provisions of Chapter 288, RSMo.
The Court may modify or enlarge the conditions of probation at any time prior to the expiration or termination of the probation term.
In any case tried before the Municipal Judge, except where there has been a plea of guilty or where the case has been tried with a jury, the defendant shall have a right of trial de novo before a Circuit Court Judge or upon assignment before an Associate Circuit Court Judge. An application for a trial de novo shall be filed within ten (10) days after judgment and shall be filed in such form and perfected in such manner as provided by Supreme Court rule.
In any case tried with a jury before an Associate Circuit Judge, a record of the proceedings shall be made, and appeals may be had upon that record to the appropriate Appellate Court.
In the case of a breach of any recognizance entered into before a Municipal Judge or an Associate Circuit Court Judge hearing a municipal ordinance violation case, the same shall be deemed forfeited and the Judge shall cause the same to be prosecuted against the principal and surety, or either of them, in the name of the municipality as plaintiff. Such action shall be prosecuted before a Circuit Court Judge or Associate Circuit Court Judge, and in the event of cases caused to be prosecuted by a Municipal Judge, such shall be on the transcript of the proceedings before the Municipal Judge. All monies recovered in such actions shall be paid over to Municipal Treasury to the General Revenue Fund of the municipality.
A Municipal Judge shall be disqualified to hear any case in which he/she is in any way interested or, if before the trial is commenced, the defendant or the prosecutor files an affidavit that the defendant or the municipality, as the case may be, cannot have a fair and impartial trial by reason of the interest or prejudice of the Judge. Neither the defendant nor the municipality shall be entitled to file more than one (1) affidavit or disqualification in the same case.
If a Municipal Judge be absent, sick or disqualified from acting pursuant to the general administrative authority of the Presiding Judge of the Circuit Court over the Municipal Divisions within the Circuit contained in Section 478.240, RSMo., a special Municipal Judge may be designated in accordance with the provisions of Section 479.230, RSMo., until such absence or disqualification shall cease.
A person commits the offense of failure to appear in Municipal Court if:
He/she has been issued a summons for a violation of any ordinance of the City of Billings and fails to appear before the Judge of the Municipal Court at the time and on the date on which he/she was summoned, or at the time or on the date to which the case was continued;
He/she has been released upon recognition of bond and fails to appear before the Judge of the Municipal Court at the time and on the date on which he/she was summoned, or at the time or on the date to which the case was continued;
He/she has been placed on Court supervised probation and fails to appear before the Judge of the Municipal Court at the time specified by said Judge as a condition of the probation.
Nothing in this Section shall prevent the exercise of the Municipal Court of its power to punish for contempt.