Tickets & Citations
Please notify the court of any dates and time that you will not be available to appear for your hearing. (The court will try to accommodate reasonable requests).
Also, inform the court of the address you wish to have your notice to appear sent, if it is different from the address on your citation. A phone number where you can be reached during business hours 8:00 a.m. through 5:00 p.m. is appreciated.
Requests for informal or formal hearings must be received within 14 days from the date the ticket was issued. Failure to make a timely request for a hearing will result in entry of a default judgment against the defendant.
What happens if I don't show up for a hearing?
If a defendant fails to appear at an informal or formal hearing the court may enter a default determination of responsibility and impose appropriate sanctions. Failure to answer a citation or notice to appear in court for an informal or formal hearing can also result in license suspension.
What is a Ticket/Citation?
Citation means “a complaint or notice upon which a police officer shall record an occurrence involving one or more motor vehicle law violations by the person cited.” The cited driver is the defendant.
A citation can be a civil infraction or a misdemeanor depending on the seriousness of the traffic violation.
All defendants who receive a citation must respond to the allegations in the citation.
Please note: the following policies apply only to the 56-B District Court. If your citation is from a court other than the 56-B District, you must contact the court listed on your citation for processing instructions.
The defendant has these options when a civil infraction is issued:
- Admit responsibility without explanation for the civil infraction and pay the ticket, by representation, or by mail within 14 days.
- Admit responsibility with explanation for the civil infraction and make an appearance by mail or in person.
- Deny responsibility for the civil infraction and request an informal or formal hearing in person, by mail, or by phone.
If a defendant fails to respond to a traffic civil infraction citation, or fails to appear for a scheduled hearing, the court may enter a default judgment of responsibility and impose appropriate sanctions.
* Does not apply to misdemeanor citations. Contact the court for procedures.
Click here for the Citation/Ticket fine schedule for the 56-B District Court. If you still cannot find what you are looking for, call the District Court Office at 269-945-1404. Please remember, the amounts represent the base fine schedule, please call the court to verify the amount that you may owe.
Admission of responsibility with explanation
A defendant’s admission of responsibility with explanation consists of the following:
- An admission of responsibility for the offense charged; and
- An explanation of the circumstances surrounding the offense.
Defendants who wish to make an admission with explanation in person should contact the court in person, by telephone or mail to schedule an appearance or obtain dates and times of magistrate’s availability. (Defendants may appear by appointment by the appearance date specified, but should call the court first to determine if a magistrate will be available).
Appearance by mail is made when the defendant returns the citation to the court with A SIGNED ADMISSION OF RESPONSIBILITY (see back of citation). Mail the signed citation along with your letter of explanation to the court within 14 days from the date on your citation. If payment of applicable fines and costs are not enclosed, the court will notify you by mail of the amount due and the payment deadline. The timeliness of a mail appearance is determined by the postmark date of the defendant’s letter.
If the court finds the defendant responsible with explanation, it may only reduce the civil fines and costs in light of the extenuating circumstances. The court can not reduce the number of points assessed by the Secretary of State.
The defendant’s appearance (by mail or in person) must occur within the time specified. Failure to make a timely appearance will result in entry of a default judgment against the defendant. Noncompliance with the judgment will result in eventual suspension of the defendant’s license, as well as other possible sanctions.
Defendant denies responsibility
To deny responsibility is to contest the case. The defendant must appear to offer a defense at an Informal or Formal hearing. Denials of responsibility/requests for hearings must be received from within14 days within the date your citation was issued. Request for Informal or Formal Hearings may be made by mail, in person, or by phone.