Municipal Court – City of Salida

CITY OF SALIDA MUNICIPAL COURT WEBSITE POST/UPDATE
Municipal Court COVID-19 Protocols

The City of Salida is taking the appropriate measures to ensure the health and well-being of its employees and citizens. To that end, the Salida Municipal Court is reopening for in-person Court with the Court date of Friday, June 26, 2020, 9 a.m. with the following protocols to be observed by all upon entering City Hall.

• Court will be held in the Touber Building, 448 E. 1st Street, Salida, CO. Please arrive using the C Street entrance door; socially distance at all times, including as a line goes outside the door. When physically in the Courtroom, you must sit “socially distanced” in your mask. Every other row of seats will be closed off and in the “open” rows you will sit where the “X” is, 6 feet apart. Hand sanitizing stations are throughout the building; use them.

• The Court’s bailiff will check you in and take down your name and cell phone number (if you don’t have a cell phone, you will just need to remain near the building). You may choose to wait in your vehicle or in line outside the building (socially distanced). Only an appropriate number of people per Governor’s order will be allowed in the courtroom at one time, with an inside wait line of no more than 5 to meet with the prosecutor in a separate room.

• You are required to bring and wear a mask, bandana or other nose and mouth covering when inside the building and courtroom. The City will have some masks for those lacking the same.

• Please bring your own pen to Court with you which you will use to sign various forms. You will be asked to read and sign an advisement of rights form.

• If you are ill or symptomatic, you will not be allowed entry. You must contact the Court Clerk for alternative options.

• It is strongly recommended that only the defendant (plus one parent/guardian if the defendant is a juvenile) be allowed in the building per case. For trials, witnesses under subpoena will be allowed entrance (mask required). (I.e., extraneous support people are discouraged.)

• If you have minor children that need to appear with you because you have no caretaker for them while you are in court, please contact the Clerk ahead of your Court date for options.

• No backpacks, large bags, weapons or items that can be used as weapons are allowed in the building. Please make arrangements to store your items in your car or at home prior to attending Court. This will help speed up the check-in process.

HAVE YOU CONSIDERED HANDLING YOUR CASE WITHOUT PERSONAL APPEARANCE IN COURT?

The City Prosecutor has previously extended generous reduced plea/point offers via the mail to those Defendants having cases allowing for the same (Penalty Assessments and certain summonses to Court) in an effort to give Defendants the option of handling their cases without appearing personally. The plea offers came via City of Salida Municipal Court mail. The Court Clerk will continue to process these pleas by phone, mail, email, or other electronic means prior to your Court date if you received a plea offer. Please timely call the Court Clerk to ask questions about this and to query re: whether you got a plea offer ahead of time (not all cases are eligible) at 719-530-2611; leave a message with your return phone number if you get an answering machine. Please note that no one will answer the phone the day of Court as the Clerk is in the Courtroom.

Those living in excess of 100 miles from Salida Municipal Court may arrange to appear by telephone be calling the Court Clerk ahead of their Court date by phoning the Clerk, 719-530-2611.

MOTIONS, FILINGS, COURT REQUESTS, PROOF OF CLASS OR COMMUNITY SERVICE HOURS:
If you have a motion, filing, court request, proof of completion of a class or community service hours, you need not physically appear if you email the documents or mail to the Court prior to your court date:
Salida Municipal Court
448 E. 1st Street.
Salida, CO 81201

Email: kathy.smith@cityofsalida.com

PAYMENTS and PAYMENT PLAN REQUESTS:
Payment may be made by check, money order or credit card, or, if you come personally (wearing your mask) to the Salida City Offices (finance office door on C Street side of the building), cash. Payment is due by 4 p.m. the day of your Court (building closes at 4 p.m.) unless alternative arrangements are granted by the Court via payment plan.

If you are in need of a payment plan, you will need to see/speak with the judge to discuss your employment and financial situation which may result in the judge offering you a written payment plan option. This includes those who received plea offers ahead of Court and wished to accept but had no means with which to pay; you must attend Court on your assigned date and time to meet with the judge re: payment plan option.

For online credit card payments (www.cityofsalida.com), written guilty plea paperwork (if mailed to you) must first be returned and processed by the Clerk before the City’s system will allow you to enter your credit card.

ACTIVE WARRANT:
If you have a currently outstanding, active warrant that you are trying to handle, please turn yourself in at your local county’s jail to be processed (your warrant is a personal recognizance bond which means no cash bond and you will, after processing, be released with a new court date), or you may attend Salida Municipal Court on June 26, 2020 9 a.m. (or July forward, Salida Municipal Court will meet on the third Friday of each month at 9 a.m.).

CONSEQUENCES FOR YOUR FAILURE TO APPEAR OR HANDLE YOUR CASE:
Your failure to either handle your matter ahead of your court date or your failure to appear at Court will have consequences: it may result in a bench warrant (issued for a summons for which you failed to appear) or, in case of a case that is a Penalty Assessment (typically most but not all traffic matters), a default judgment entered with Outstanding Judgment notification sent to the Colorado Dept. of Revenue which will have consequences to your driving privileges (whether you are a Colorado resident or not). Please handle your case timely to avoid these consequences.

As we strive to keep everyone healthy and safe, Court will take longer than usual

 

 

***Salida Municipal Court Orders Continuing Salida Municipal Court Until (at earliest) June 26, 2020***

ORDERING CONTINUING SALIDA MUNICIPAL COURT UNTIL (at earliest) JUNE 26TH, 2020 with FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS

In light of continuing health concerns, the stay in place order issued by the Governor of the State of Colorado, the City of Salida’s Tier IV mandate and other orders issued by our local government (both county and city), the Court issues this Order continuing all Salida Municipal Court appearances scheduled for April 17 and May 15, 2020 until, at the earliest, the date of June 26, 2020. Please read this document fully and carefully as it contains important information regarding your legal obligations to the City of Salida Municipal Court.

1. All Salida Municipal Court appearances scheduled for April 17, 2020 and May 15, 2020 are ordered continued until June 26th, 2020 to the time they were originally scheduled for (i.e., Arraignments–new cases wherein no advisement and no plea has been entered–at 9 a.m., payment review and community service reviews for 1:30, and bond returns at 9 a.m. Any trials scheduled will be held June 26th at the previously scheduled time).

2. Common sense and reality dictates that due to what is an evolving health situation, it may be that the date of June 26th is subsequently is continued to an even later Court date. You are directed to check the City of Salida website (www.cityofsalida.com) starting the Wednesday morning prior to the rescheduled date (so June 24th for the June 26th court date) to see whether Court has again been continued, and if it has, to see the Order posted there with notification of the subsequently scheduled date (as example, July or August court). Further orders to continue will not be mailed to you and it is your obligation to check the city website prior to court; failure to appear may result in an Outstanding Judgment/Default Judgment being issued in the case of most traffic matters or a bench warrant in the case of other cases. As an alternative to checking the City’s website, you may phone the Court Clerk starting Wednesday morning prior to any scheduled Friday Court date at 719-530-2611 to confirm whether Court has again been continued. The Clerk’s answering machine will contain a message regarding the upcoming Friday’s court and informing you of any date to which Court has been continued.

3. Any Defendant originally written a Penalty Assessment ticket who wishes to plead guilty and pay their ticket in advance of Court may do so by calling the Court Clerk at 719-530-2611 who will provide you with further directions. The Court Clerk is available by telephone Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. at 719-530-2611. Please note that City offices are closed to the public pursuant to the City’s Tier IV order and offices are being minimally staffed in person; therefore leave a message if you need a return call from the Clerk.

4. Those Defendants with bond return dates of April 17, 2020 are Ordered to appear on June 26, 2020 9 a.m. and Ordered to check the city website as per paragraph 2 above.

5. Defendants who failed to appear at their February 21, 2020 Court date and who had bench warrants issued on that date for their failure to appear, or who had a default judgment and Outstanding Judgment issued for traffic infractions, are subject to this Order and their stay shall continue until the next court date (currently June 26, 2020 at 9 a.m.). All such affected Defendants were previously mailed a Notice from the Court advising them that a stay had been issued until March 20, 2020 with a subsequent Notice issued continuing March 20th’s court until April 17. These Defendants advised to follow the directives in paragraph 2 to confirm whether Court will be in session. Failure to handle any matter dating from February 21, 2020 either prior to Court (see paragraph 3) or at the next Court session will result in any previously stayed bench warrant and/or Outstanding Judgment being activated at the next in person session of the Salida Municipal Court.

6. Cases of those Defendants in custody at the Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office having a Salida Municipal Court date for April 17, 2020 or May 15, 2020 are Ordered continued until June 26, 2020 at 9 a.m. (assuming the Sheriff’s Office is not in “lock down” and assuming transport can be provided).

The Court regrets the inconvenience to all Defendants, but in the interest of our collective health and safety and in order that we remain in compliance with existing state and local orders, the Court finds this Order to be necessary as an emergency measure.

SO ORDERED this 6th day of April, 2020

_____________________________
Cheryl Hardy-Moore, Salida Municipal Court Judge

The Salida Municipal Court has jurisdiction to hear cases involving possible violations of:

the Salida Model Traffic Code. click here.

the Salida Municipal Code, click here.


The City of Salida Municipal Court’s mission is to provide an efficient, equitable, and impartial forum for the resolution of citations issued by the Salida Police Department alleging violations of the City of Salida Municipal Code or The Uniform Model Traffic Code (as adopted by the City Municipal Code).  The Court affords due process to all defendants including the right to trial and the right to an attorney including the right to a court appointed attorney as applicable.  The Judge, (also referred to as the Court), upon a finding of guilt after trial, or upon a Defendant’s plea of guilty, imposes a sentence consisting of fines, costs, and surcharges due the City of Salida.  The sentence may also include community service, therapeutic classes or participation in other programs.  The types of cases heard by the Salida Municipal Court are traffic, misdemeanor, animal, miscellaneous code violations, and parking summonses.


Court is held every 3rd Friday of the month with the exception of the month of June, when Court is held on the 4th Friday.  Upcoming Municipal Court Dates for 2020 are:

January 17, 2020
February 21, 2020
March 20, 2020
April 17, 2020
May 15, 2020
June 26 2020
July 17, 2020
August 21, 2020
September 18, 2020
October 16, 2020
November 15, 2019
December 20, 2019


YOUR TICKET:  A Uniform Summons and Complaint or a Penalty Assessment?

If you receive a ticket (also known as a citation or a complaint), the copy that the officer will give you is the blue copy.  These same summons forms are used for both Salida Municipal Court and Chaffee County Court, so it is important to check (on the front of the blue ticket) which Court you are to appear in. In the middle of the summons is a box that contains the address of the Court where your summons has been filed. If the address is 448 E. 1st Street, you are to appear at Salida Municipal Court.  (If the address is 142 Crestone Avenue, you are to appear in Chaffee County Court.) The date and time at which you are to appear will be filled in by the officer.

In some instances, you may be given the option of not appearing in Court and instead proceeding via the “PENALTY ASSESSMENT” process.  This will be noted on the front of the ticket by the issuing Officer and you must follow the procedures exactly as explained on the reverse side of the ticket.

Summons detail

If “SUMMONS AND COMPLAINT” is checked, but not the “PENALTY ASSESSMENT” box:  you do not have the option of avoiding court and paying a fine. You must appear in court on the date and time indicated.  At your court date, you will be advised by the Court of your rights, required to sign the advisement of rights form, and you will be called upon to plead guilty or not guilty.  You have the right to speak with the City Prosecutor about your matter (see further instructions in this site) and if you plead or are found guilty, to address the Judge about your ticket, prior to imposition of sentence.

If “PENALTY ASSESSMENT” is checked:  if you are given the option of proceeding via Penalty Assessment (“PA”) and only if you wish to not contest the charges against you and it is your wish to plead guilty without appearing in Court, you have the option of paying your fine along with all surcharges and court costs as set forth on your ticket.  By doing so you acknowledge that you are pleading guilty and waiving your rights as set forth on the back side of your ticket.  (YOU MUST ACT WITHIN THE STRICT TIME FRAME SPECIFIED ON THE BACK OF YOUR TICKET  and pay all monies noted including the court costs.  Failure to strictly abide by the instructions will convert your penalty assessment into a summons into Court.)   See the back side of your ticket for further instructions.

“AUTOMATIC POINT REDUCTION-PENALTY ASSESSMENT”:  if your Penalty Assessment ticket is for a traffic offense, you are eligible to receive a point reduction when you proceed via the PA process.  (this is further explained on the reverse side of your blue ticket under “Automatic Point Reduction-Penalty Assessment”)

If you have the option of paying via the Penalty Assessment process, you may pay your ticket by one of the following methods:

  • by mail; 448 E. 1st Street, Salida, CO 81201 (submit the blue ticket copy with your signature along with payment)
  • by dropping your payment off at the lock box in the City Hall parking lot, (submit the blue ticket copy with your signature along with payment)
  • by coming to the payment window at City Hall,
  • or online at the City Website.

NOTE:  Should you pay via any of the above methods, you are acknowledging and waiving and giving up your rights as set forth on the back side of your blue ticket including your right to contest the charges and have a trial.

City Hall Entrance (2)

The City Hall Entrance

ASSESSMENT OF POINTS AGAINST YOUR DRIVER’S LICENSE:  Payment of a penalty assessment constitutes a guilty plea.  For Model Traffic Code violations (and for some Salida Municipal Code violations), notice of your guilty plea is sent to the Colorado Department of Revenue, Motor Vehicle Division, so that they can record your penalty points. Similarly, if you appear in Court under a summons and are found guilty at trial or plead guilty to a traffic offense, the points associated with your charge will be sent into the Department of Motor Vehicles.  The point system is used in Colorado as well as most other states. To learn more about the penalty point system for traffic violations, click here.

If your driver’s license has been issued by another state and that state has a reciprocal agreement with Colorado, the Colorado DMV will send them notice of the conviction of the offense.

IF YOU HAD THE OPTION OF PAYING VIA PENALTY ASSESSMENT YET MISSED YOUR 20 DAY DEADLINE, you still have the right to pay your ticket (via one of the four methods noted above) and avoid a Court appearance so long as your payment is received ahead of your court date (please note that you WILL NOT receive a point reduction in this instance).  You are giving up your rights as noted on the reverse side of your ticket by proceeding in this fashion.

If no payment is received from you prior to your Court date, you are required to answer the charges in Court at the date and time indicated unless you request a continuance in writing and the same is granted (see further in this website for instructions on how to request a continuance).

WHAT IF  I FAIL TO PAY OR APPEAR IN COURT?

Failure to either pay a fine in full or appear in court when scheduled will result in either a default judgment or an outstanding judgment warrant (OJW) being issued against you (in the case of a traffic infraction), or, for all other cases, referral of your matter to a collection agency, to the City Prosecutor to initiate Contempt of Court Proceedings, initiation of garnishment proceedings or collection of the unpaid fines and costs via any civil collection remedy the Judge may Order.  An Outstanding Judgment Warrant results in consequences to your driver’s license.  If you appear, and have not paid the amount due, the Judge can give you additional time to make payment or can reassess your case and enter alternative orders such as conversion of a monetary fine to Useful Public Service in lieu of fines and costs.

WHAT ARE BENCH WARRANTS?

Municipal Court warrants are ordered by the Judge for one’s failure to appear. The Judge will set a dollar amount of bail. Bonds may be issued as “PR” (personal recognizance), but still require that you be arrested (or turn yourself in on the warrant to the local jail and be processed), or if a cash bond, you must post bond in the amount of bail to secure your release from custody.  A $30 Bench Warrant fee is imposed by Court order on each warrant issued, even if a PR bond.

 


A mandatory Court appearance is required for some charges under the Model Traffic Code, as follows:

  • speed contest or drag racing
  • speeding 20 miles per hour or more over the posted speed limit
  • reckless or careless driving
  • any other violation for which a fine has not been established under the Salida Municipal Court Fine Schedule
  • no proof of insurance

A mandatory court appearance is required for some summons under the Salida Municipal Code, as follows:

  • destruction of property
  • interference with an Officer
  • harassment or assault or disorderly conduct
  • theft or shoplifting
  • resisting arrest
  • any other violation for which a fine has not bee established under the Salida Municipal Court fine schedule
  • any offense normally payable as a penalty assessment, but with special circumstances

IF YOU WISH TO CONTEST YOUR CHARGES AND SPEAK WITH THE CITY PROSECUTOR:  you must appear in Court and, after reviewing and signing your advisement of rights form, you will be offered the opportunity to speak with the City Prosecutor about your matter in order to explore the option of a negotiated plea (aka plea bargain).  The City Prosecutor will take into consideration your traffic and criminal history, plus other factors he deems fit to take into consideration, including your position should you wish to disclose the same to him, when deciding whether or not to offer you a reduced charge.  Note that in almost all instances, the original fine will apply to a reduced offense.  If you do not arrive at an acceptable resolution of your matter with the City Prosecutor, or if you choose to not speak with the City Prosecutor and instead plead not guilty, your matter will be scheduled for a trial (either to the Court or, as applicable to a Jury) typically within 30 to 45 days after your not guilty plea is entered.

IF YOU WISH TO SPEAK WITH THE JUDGE ABOUT YOUR CASE:  The Judge is to remain neutral regarding your case and therefore has no statutory ability to hear evidence about your case unless it is presented at trial or it is at your sentencing (after your guilty plea or finding of guilt after trial).  You do have the right and ability to address the Judge at sentencing with respect to any matter pertinent to the mitigation of your sentence.  NOTE: It is the City Prosecutor and not the Judge who has the statutory ability to offer you a negotiated plea.

IF YOU CANNOT APPEAR ON YOUR COURT DATE:  Please contact the Municipal Court Clerk in writing at courtclerk@cityofsalida.com before the appearance date to request a new court date.  Your first appearance can be rescheduled one time, at your written request, and generally will be rescheduled for the next Court date. If you cannot appear yet do not request a rescheduled date, a “Failure to Appear” will be noted in your file and either an Outstanding Judgment Warrant (OJW) or Bench Warrant for your arrest will issue.


PARKING TICKETS:

Parking Tickets (Notice of a Violation) allege violations of a parking ordinance of the City of Salida, and are issued by the Code Enforcement Officer. Violations are placed on the windshield of a vehicle. The ticket will cite a specific offense that the particular vehicle has violated. It will also identify the amount of fine that must be paid.  If payment is not made within the next 14 days, a late fee of $25.00 is added onto the amount due.  Thereafter, if not paid within the next subsequent 14 days, and after a reminder to pay letter is mailed by the Court Clerk, a Summons to Appear in Court may be mailed or served to a non-compliant Defendant who will be given a date to appear in Court.  Court costs of $30 are added onto the original fine and late fee once a Summons to Appear has issued.

If a Defendant wished to contest a ticket, a not guilty plea can be entered at the Arraignment and a bench (judge decision) trial will be scheduled to occur at the next subsequent Court date (necessary in order that the Code Enforcement Office can be subpoenaed to appear on behalf of the City).  The Defendant may choose to testify at his trial in his own defense and also has the right to not testify.  The Defendant will, at his trial, have the opportunity to present any other evidence relative to his guilt or non-guilt before the Judge renders a verdict.  There are no points assessed against a driver’s license because of a parking ticket, and the City Prosecutor does not participate in trials for parking violators.


ADVISEMENT OF YOUR RIGHTS:

The Colorado Rules of Municipal Court procedure require that you be given an Advisement of Rights form in Court which must be reviewed and signed by you prior to your proceeding in Court.  The Judge will review this with you.  In some instances, a written Waiver of Rights form will be required of you prior to the Court being able to accept your plea of guilty.  NOTE:  If you take advantage of the Penalty Assessment procedure, you are waiving the rights as set forth on the reverse side of your ticket.  See the attached ADVISEMENT OF RIGHTS FORM


ALL JUVENILES MUST HAVE A PARENT OR LEGAL GUARDIAN PRESENT WHEN APPEARING IN SALIDA MUNICIPAL COURT

Common procedure questions and answers can be viewed here:  QUESTION AND ANSWERS