Court Operations & Procedures
There are three options to request an amendment of a moving violation to a non-moving violation:
- Appear in court on your scheduled court date and time and ask to speak to the Prosecutor.
- If you meet certain requirements, you may be able to amend in person by speaking with a court clerk. Click here for more information about amending moving violations.
- Attend the walk-in plea docket to discuss your ticket with the Prosecutor. The walk-in plea docket is every Monday (except holidays) between 1:30 – 3:00 p.m. for attorneys, and 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. for pro se defendants.
Leawood Municipal Court does not require you to have an attorney to request an amendment of your charge.
A defendant must appear on the date shown on the ticket, or attend the walk-in plea docket, to seek a continuance. However, if a Kansas attorney enters an appearance on behalf of a defendant, the clerks are authorized to grant one continuance to that attorney. No continuance by phone will be granted for any case set for trial, any case involving a victim, any case in which the defendant has posted a bond, or any case filed by a City Codes Enforcement Officer.
Many criminal cases are concluded without a trial. Some cases may be disposed of without a trial through a plea agreement or diversion program. Under a plea agreement, the defendant agrees to plead guilty or no contest to the charge or to an amended charge.
Diversion may be available for certain cases at the discretion of the Prosecutor and as provided by law. As part of a diversion, the defendant agrees to comply with certain conditions for a period of time. If the defendant successfully complies with all the conditions in the diversion, the charges will be dismissed. If the court finds the defendant has failed to comply with all conditions, the diversion may be revoked and the original charge(s) immediately reinstated. The defendant could then be found guilty based upon stipulations in the diversion agreement, and sentenced. Please click here for the diversion application.
Diversions and plea agreements are offered at the sole discretion of the Prosecutor. The Prosecutor has authorized the Court Clerks to process specific amendments under certain circumstances. Please click here for the amendment policy.
The Prosecutor negotiates all pleas and diversions only during court sessions and at the walk-in plea docket. No negotiations will be handled by phone.
The Prosecutor is available for plea discussions every Monday afternoon [other than holidays] from 1:30 – 3:00 p.m. for attorneys and from 3:00 – 4:00 p.m. for pro se defendants. Defendants and attorneys are encouraged to use this time to discuss plea agreements and diversions with the Prosecutor, or to request a continuance. However, any matter that requires the Judge, (i.e. cases in warrant status) or those that require a Code Enforcement officer (i.e. code violations) will have to be heard on a regular court docket.
A defendant may choose to retain an attorney in any municipal court case. If a defendant is indigent, and if the offense charged carries a possible jail penalty, then, upon request by the defendant, the court will appoint a public defender.
Arraignment is the formal appearance of the defendant before the judge to enter a plea to the charge(s). One of three pleas may be entered:
Guilty means the defendant admits to having committed the act(s) in the complaint.
Not Guilty means the defendant denies guilt thereby making it necessary for the City to prove the charge(s). The matter will be scheduled for trial at a future date and the City will be required to prove its case beyond a reasonable doubt.
No Contest means the defendant does not contest the charge(s). Upon a plea of no contest, the Judge find the defendant guilty, and will order a fine, jail time or other appropriate sentence. A plea of no contest is not an admission of fault and cannot be used against you in a subsequent proceeding.
If a case cannot be resolved by plea negotiations, it will be scheduled for trial. At the conclusion of the trial, the Judge will reach a verdict after considering the charges, the testimony, and all other facts and evidence presented to the Court.
Prior to the trial, the defendant may ask the Court to issue subpoenas compelling witnesses to appear at trial. However, the defendant must furnish names and addresses of these witnesses to the Court at least two weeks prior to the date of the trial least The defendant is responsible for obtaining service on his/her own subpoenas.
At trial, the Prosecutor will call witnesses to testify against the defendant. After each prosecution witness testifies, the defendant has a right to cross-examine each witness. After the prosecution has presented its case, the defendant may then call any witnesses on his/her behalf.
The defendant has both the right to testify and a constitutional right not to testify. If a defendant chooses not to testify, this choice will not be used by the judge in determining guilt or innocence. However, if the defendant does testify, the prosecution has a right to cross-examine him/her.
If the defendant pleads or is found guilty, the Judge will impose a sentence. Fines, fees and/or jail time may be assessed against the defendant. The amount of the fine or jail is determined upon the facts and circumstances of the case. All fines and fees are expected to be paid the day they are assessed. The Court accepts cash, check, money order or credit card for payment.
If you are an Attorney who wishes to withdraw from a case, please file a Motion to Withdraw and copy your client on the Notice of Hearing. The hearing date should be the next date on which the case is set. Motions may be mailed, faxed, or emailed to the court at firstname.lastname@example.org. You need not appears on the hearing date if you have filed the Notice of Hearing indicating that your client was notified.
Please do not attempt to withdraw by letter or telephone, as those will not be accepted.
Please do not appear on a court date and ask for permission to withdraw unless you have filed a Notice of Hearing to your client.