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Municipal Court

The Municipal Courts are considered courts of limited jurisdiction, and have responsibility for adjudicating motor vehicle offenses, parking offenses, some criminal offenses (bad check charges, simple assault, and certain harassment offenses), municipal ordinance violations, and certain other offenses, such as weights and measures violations, as well as fish and game violations.  Municipal Courts usually only have jurisdiction over cases that occur within the boundaries of the municipality they occurred in.

Waldwick Municipal Court holds court the 2nd and 4th Thursdays at 4:00 p.m. The court also schedules special sessions as necessary to meet the administrative needs of the court.

 

WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN APPEARING BEFORE THE MUNICIPAL COURT

When appearing for court sessions, all litigants and members of the public should be aware of the following:

  • All persons appearing for court will be required to pass through a metal detector and will be subject to the request of all security personnel.
  • No hats are allowed in the courtroom.
  • All cell phones, pagers and electronic devices MUST be turned off while in the courtroom.
  • No photos or videos are allowed to be taken UNLESS prior consent has been granted by the Municipal Court Judge.
  • All briefcases, backpacks, purses and/or messenger bags, etc., are subject to search at any time.
  •  No reading material is allowed in court.

 

Cases are generally heard in the following order:

  • Requests for adjournments
  • Arraignments
  • Guilty pleas with counsel
  • Guilty pleas without counsel
  • Contested matters with counsel
  • Contested matters without counsel

This process may be relaxed or changed to meet the administrative needs of the court.

Court Appearance Required  

If you have been issued a summons, and the officer has checked off the ‘court appearance required’ field on the face of the summons, or the personal injury field has been checked off, you must appear in court on the notice to appear date listed on the summons. Further, certain violations are not payable, and will require you to appear before the court.  If you are unsure whether you must appear in court or can simply pay your fine, please contact the violations bureau at 201-652-5300 x222. 

 Some examples of offenses that will require you to appear before the court:

  • driving while suspended
  • driving while intoxicated (DWI)
  • failure to exhibit insurance card
  • open container of alcohol in a motor vehicle
  • driving without a license
  • talking on a phone without a hands-free device or texting while driving 

 Pleas

If it is your intention to plead not guilty, you must notify the court seven (7) days prior to the court date listed on the face of your summons (notice to appear).  You may plead not guilty by calling the court office or in writing.  When doing so, the court will require you to provide the following information:

  • Your summons or complaint number(s)
  • Your current and correct address (if different from the address listed on the summons)
  • A telephone number

Adjournments

 No matters will be granted more than one adjournment.  Normally, an adjournment will be granted by the court upon the entry of a plea of not guilty, to allow you time to prepare your defense, or to retain an attorney.  However, in some instances, for more serious offenses, i.e., indictable offenses, certain criminal offenses, and Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) cases, the court will require you to appear for an arraignment.  In these matters, adjournments will not be granted.

The Waldwick Municipal Court staff is available daily to assist litigants in any questions they have in regard to court procedure.  We will be happy to help you if we can.  However, we are allowed to help you only in certain ways, since we want to be fair to everyone in a case. 

This is a list of some things that the court staff CAN and CANNOT do for you. 

WE CAN explain and answer questions about how the court works.

WE CAN tell you what the requirements are to have your case considered by the court.

WE CAN give you some information from your case file.

WE CAN provide you with samples of court forms that are available.

WE CAN provide you with guidance on how to fill out forms.

WE CAN usually answer questions about court deadlines.

WE CANNOT give you legal advice.  Only your lawyer can give you legal advice.

WE CANNOT tell you whether or not you should bring your case to court.

WE CANNOT give you an opinion about what will happen if you bring your case to court.

WE CANNOT recommend a lawyer, but we can provide you with the telephone number of a local lawyer referral service.

WE CANNOT talk to the Judge for you about what will happen in your case.

WE CANNOT let you talk to the Judge outside of court.

WE CANNOT change an order issued by a Judge.

MISSION STATEMENT

 We are an independent branch of government constitutionally entrusted with the fair and just resolution of disputes in order to preserve the rule of law and to protect the rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and laws of the United States and this State.