- Municipal Court
The Court is located within the City of Lake Geneva Municipal Building. Court sessions are held on various dates and times based on the proceedings. For a listing of our current court schedule please see the Court Calendar.
This Court has jurisdiction over traffic and non-traffic ordinances in the City of Lake Geneva. It is our desire that you fully understand the procedures of the court and your rights. Our Court Staff is happy to answer any procedural questions you may have about how the court may handle your case. However, we cannot offer legal advice, make recommendations to you about your case, or recommend an attorney.
Whether you are found not guilty or guilty, the Court would like to impress upon you the necessity of all of us to voluntarily observe all laws. Each of us desires to make our roads safer places to drive, and our communities' better places to live and work.
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- What happens at my initial appearance?
When you arrive at Court, please print your name on the "sign-up" sheet located at the court clerk's window. All names are called according to the order listed on the sign-up sheet. When your name is called, you should approach the bench. The Judge will ask you to enter a plea of not guilty, no contest, or guilty.
If you enter a not guilty plea, the next stage of the legal process is a Pre-Trial Conference with the City Attorney which will be held that day for juveniles or at a later date for adults. If you wish to enter a not guilty plea without appearing in Court for your initial appearance, you must enter your not guilty plea in writing to the Court prior to the scheduled date. If you enter a not guilty plea (PDF) in writing, please provide your name, current mailing address, current telephone number, and the citation number.
If you plead either no contest or guilty, the Judge will find you guilty and impose a sentence. Usually, the sentence will be imposed the same night as the initial appearance.
- What if I don’t appear for my initial appearance?
If you fail to appear in Court for your initial appearance, you will automatically be found guilty and a default judgment will be entered against you. If no bond was posted, you will receive a notice of default judgment in the mail stating the forfeiture amount due and the due date. Usually the Judge will grant up to 60 days to pay the forfeiture amount listed on your citation. If you posted the bond when receiving your citation, the money posted will be forfeit.
- If I can’t make it to my court date, can I get a continuance?
The Court may grant one continuance of your initial appearance, as long as you contact the Court Clerk prior to your Court date to reschedule.
- What plea should I enter?
You have a right to enter a plea of either guilty, not guilty, or no contest to the charge against you.
If you plead no contest, it is likely that you will be found guilty, but before the court makes that decision, you will have the opportunity to speak to the Judge. If you are involved in any type of arrest where you may be sued civilly (for example, a car accident), the fact that you plead no contest in this court may not be used against you in any other action or in any other court. You may plead no contest to any charge in this court.
If you plead guilty, you are admitting that you committed the offense, and if the arrest report contains the necessary elements, you will be found guilty and a penalty of a forfeiture plus costs will be imposed. Please be aware, a plea of guilty may be used against you civilly.
If you plead not guilty, you will be scheduled for a pretrial conference with the City of Lake Geneva Prosecuting Attorney. If the case cannot be disposed of after this conference, then a trial will be scheduled and held in this court. Please note that you may make your plea of not guilty before your court date either by mail, fax, or in person at the Municipal Court office.
- I missed my Court date and really wanted to appear. What now?
In order to contest your citation after a disposition has been entered by the Court, you must file a written request to the Judge (Motion to Reopen Judgment (PDF)) indicating your reason why you believe your case should be reopened. Your request must be filed with the court along with a $25 deposit per citation. The Judge will review your request and respond in writing accordingly.
- How can I contest a parking citation?
If you wish to contest a parking citation, you can appear in court just as you would for any other alleged violation of a city ordinance. The appearance date and time is located on the right side of your (pink) parking citation. The court procedures utilized for parking cases are the same procedures used for any other case. You may enter a plea of "not guilty," "no contest," or "guilty."
If you plead "not guilty," (PDF) a pre-trial conference will be scheduled. At the pre-trial conference, the defendant, the city attorney and a representative from the police department will discuss their respective positions regarding the alleged parking violation to try and stipulate to an agreement between the parties.
If a defendant enters a plea of "no contest" or "guilty" the Judge will find him or her guilty and impose a penalty (a fine). Before a penalty is imposed by the Judge, he will listen to any statements or information the defendant would like to provide to the court.
If you wish to contest a meter violation you will need to contact the meter department directly at 262-248-3673 or you may come to the city hall desk and complete a meter complaint form that will be forwarded to the Meter Supervisor for review. If you are unable to come to a resolution after filing your complaint, you may file a written not guilty plea (PDF) with the Municipal Court where you will then be scheduled for a pre-trial hearing with the City Attorney.
- Where can I find the city ordinances?
City ordinances are located on the website under the City Government section. Or you may also contact the Court Clerk 262-248-4651 for a copy of the particular parking ordinance that pertains to your situation.
- Where can further complaints be directed?
If you are unable to come to a resolution, the city council is the proper forum for discussion of the policy basis for the parking ordinances. At every city council meeting, the public is afforded the opportunity to speak. Also, you may wish to write a letter to your alderperson, the city business administrator, or the mayor. The address, telephone number, and email address for alderpersons, the business administrator and the mayor appear on the city's contact list in the website.
- How can I pay for my parking citation?
Payment can be made in person at the court office between the hours of 8:30 am and 5 pm, Monday through Friday. Payments may also be made anytime at the City of Lake Geneva Police Department. Acceptable methods of payment are cash, check, credit card, cashier's check, or money order.
If you deposit the amount by mail, please enclose a copy of your citation, along with check, cashier's check, or money order made payable to the City of Lake Geneva Municipal Court.
- What are some reasons why parking citations will not be dismissed?
- I was just there for a short time
- Lack of legal parking space
- Lack of convenient parking space
- Time constraints ("only a minute late")
- Lack of funds ("no change")
- No one else got a ticket
- Didn't see the sign
- Parked in same area and never received a ticket before
- Ignorance of City of Lake Geneva Parking Regulations
- If your vehicle was unattended, it was parked
- I didn't intend to do it
- The fine is too much