Procedures & Fines
The City of Colfax court docket is the schedule of the court. Defendants will be expected to adhere to the procedures and protocol of the court at all times, including proper attire.
All mobile devices, including phones, must be turned off. Photography and audio recordings are prohibited. No food or drink will be allowed in the court room at any time.
It is always a good idea to arrive a few minutes early. The Court room is located on the North end of City Hall, look for the blue signage labled Municipal Court. Court generally is held on the first and third Tuesday of each month. Contact the Court Administrator for more information. Office hours are every Tuesday from 8:00am-5:00pm.
Frequently Asked Questions
May I have a lawyer at a contested hearing?
You may, at your own expense, have a lawyer appear and represent you at your hearing. If you are to be represented by counsel, the lawyer is required to file a notice of appearance with the Court, and the Colfax Municipal Prosecutor, prior to the hearing date.
What if I live to far away to come to court?
If you live beyond a 60-mile radius of the court, or if appearing in court presents an extreme hardship, you may request a mitigation hearing by mail. You must appear in person to contest your case. The clerk will schedule your hearing and you must have your letter to the court by the date specified. Failure to do so will result in the assessment of a $52 late penalty and the process to suspend your license will begin. The court will review your written sworn affidavit as well as the citing officer’s report and make a decision. You will be provided with a written judgment and, if a fine is imposed, given 15 business days from the date of judgment to pay. A time pay option may also be requested.
What about a "no liability insurance" ticket?
If you receive a ticket for no insurance, and you had insurance at the time of the ticket, you may file proof of insurance with the Court Clerk along with a $25.00 administrative fee. It must provide proof that you indeed had insurance at the time of the stop, not quickly thereafter. The clerk can then dismiss that charge without you having to come to Court before the judge. If you obtained insurance after you received the ticket, you may request a mitigation hearing (2) on the back of your green copy of the ticket to explain the circumstances and show your policy to the judge. You must do this within the 15 day response time.
Can I appeal a contested hearing judgement?
If you do not prevail at your contested hearing you have the right to appeal to the Superior Court of Whitman County. The notice of appeal must be filed within 30 days of the judgment. There will be various appeal costs, payable in advance, including a $200 Superior Court filing fee and costs for copying the Court recording. If you choose to appeal your case, the Superior Court will review the record that was made at the Colfax Municipal Court, but there will not be a new trial. The Clerk’s office will provide you with the information about the appellate process.
What happens if I fail to pay for a ticket or don't appear in court?
A failure to pay or respond to the ticket within 15 days results in an order that the infraction was committed. If you asked for a hearing and did not appear your payment is due immediately. When an infraction is not paid in a timely manner or a hearing is missed, a $52 late penalty is added to the amount shown on the ticket. Your license may then be suspended if the penalty is not paid following a notice to pay the increased penalty, and the account will be assigned to a collection agency.
What happens at my initial appearance in court?
A defendant’s (the accused) first appearance in Court. At this court appearance, the defendant is informed of the charges, or potential charges, and potential penalties, informed of his/her rights, given the opportunity to apply for a court appointed attorney, bail is set and a plea of guilty, not guilty, or no contest is entered. If a plea is guilty or no contest, sentencing takes place or a Sentencing Hearing is set.
What is a motion?
A verbal or written request that asks the judge to rule on a legal question made by the prosecutor or the public defender where they try to resolve the case without a trial.
What is a pre-trial conference?
An informal hearing between the prosecutor, the defense attorney and the defendant where the case is attempted to be resolved without a trial.
What is a status conference?
A court hearing set so that the parties can discuss if an agreement can be reached before the trial date. If an agreement has been reached, it could become a plea and sentencing hearing.
What is a trial?
An official hearing in which either a jury (jury trial) or judge (bench trial) hears the facts of the case. Through physical evidence and testimony by witnesses, the prosecutor attempts to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the defendant’s guilt. If the defendant is found guilty, the judge may sentence the defendant immediately or set the case for a sentencing hearing.
What is a plea/sentencing hearing?
A court hearing in which the judge decides how to punish and rehabilitate the defendant. A sentencing hearing follows a plea of guilty or no contest plea, or a finding of guilty by a jury or judge.