Stolte Law, LLC
What you need to know about Merriam Municipal Court
The Merriam Municipal Court is located in the Merriam City Hall at 9001 W 62nd Street – just north of Shawnee Mission Parkway and behind IKEA. A parking lot is located in the front of the building. A second parking lot is available just to the south of the building. When you walk into the building, the courtroom is on your left. Inside, you must check in with the clerk. If you do not do this, you will not be in line to speak with the prosecutor or the judge.
In general, you will have three choices regarding an attorney. You can represent yourself. If you do, the judge will require you to formally waive counsel. If you understand that you need an attorney but cannot afford one, the judge will appoint an attorney to you - if certain qualifications are met. Your third choice is to hire a Prairie Village criminal defense attorney.
The Judge and Prosecutors:
As with many municipal courts, the prosecutor and the judge are part-time employees. This means that the only chance you or your attorney will have to negotiate your case will be on your court date. It is difficult to discuss anything of substance with the prosecutors outside of court as they do not have dedicated offices and do not have your files.
It is risky to speak directly to a prosecutor on your own behalf. The maxim, “He who represents himself has a fool for a client” is well-deserved. Keep in mind that the prosecutor’s job is to convict you of a crime. Be careful about what you say, it may be used against you later.
Many people charged with a crime have outstanding warrants. You can check for outstanding Johnson County warrants by going to the Johnson County Sheriff’s website. If you have a warrant from another jurisdiction (County, City, or State), you may be arrested by the Merriam Police Officers at the courthouse. If your warrant is related to your Merriam case, you can ask the judge to quash the warrant.
It is always best to turn yourself in if you have an outstanding warrant. Doing so will avoid unnecessary embarrassment and allows you to plan for your release by setting up a bondsman ahead of time.
If you have any questions about your next court date, you should review your ticket or the notice to appear. If all else fails, contact your attorney or the court clerk.
The City of Merriam has jurisdiction to prosecute traffic violations, misdemeanor charges, and city code violations. Felony charges that arise within Merriam are handled at the Johnson County District Court in Olathe. Most criminal cases in Merriam are first or second DUI’s, retail thefts, driving while suspended, traffic infractions, domestic battery, and possession of marijuana or paraphernalia.
Make sure your cellphone is turned off. Stand when the judge enters the courtroom. And, do not talk while court is in session.
If you are unhappy with the results of your Merriam municipal criminal case, you have the right to appeal. Contact an experienced appellate attorney who focuses on criminal appeals as certain time limitations and appellate bond conditions will apply. Your appeal will be heard at the Johnson County District Court. In Kansas, an appeal from a municipal court will result in a new trial, hearing, and presentation of evidence.