Trials

Trials for Infractions and Ordinance Violations will be scheduled approximately forty-five (45) to sixty (60) days from the entry of a denial.

Trials in the Plainfield Town Court are conducted on Tuesdays at 12:30 p.m. with the exception of Ordinance Violations which are conducted on the 1st Tuesday of the month at 4:00p.m.  You are expected to be on time for your trial.

If you have entered a Not Guilty plea for your case before this Court, a Bench Trial has been set.  The following is an explanation of procedures for a Bench Trial:

  1. If you have witnesses who need to be sent a subpoena to appear, you must notify the Court 30 days prior to your trial date as these are sent by certified mail.  A complete list of names and addresses of your witness/witnesses must be provided to the Court in order for a subpoena to be sent
  2. Appear for your trial prepared to present your case! A trial is not a debate.
  3. At trial the State or Town attorney will present their witness/witnesses and their evidence.
  4. You will have an opportunity to question the State/Town’s witness/witnesses regarding their testimony.
  5. When the State/Town is done, you will have an opportunity to present your witness/witnesses and your evidence.
  6. The State/Town will then have an opportunity to question your witness/witnesses on their testimony.
  7. You will then have an opportunity to give your testimony to the Judge
  8. The State/Town will be given an opportunity to question you on your testimony
  9. The Judge may ask questions of you and/or the State/Town’s witnesses
  10. At the conclusion, the Judge will render his verdict
  11. Please appear for your trial prepared to present your case!
  12. If you wish to request a continuance of your trial, each side is given one continuance.  You must request this continuance in writing at least five (5) days prior to your trial date.  If you call to request a continuance the day of your trial, your request will be denied unless it is deemed an emergency situation by the Court.

Neither the Judge, nor the Court staff may give you legal advice on the preparation of your case.  If you come to trial representing yourself, you need to be prepared to present your case.

You may hire an attorney if you want to be represented by one at the trial, but you do not need to hire an attorney.  You may represent yourself.  If you do hire an attorney, you need to do that within 10 days of your initial hearing.

The Prosecutor or Town Attorney has the burden of proving that you committed the offense(s) with which you are charged by a preponderance of the evidence.  You DO NOT have to be proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. That means that enough evidence must be admitted in Court for the Judge to find that it is more likely than not that you committed the offense(s) with which you are charged. If the Prosecutor or Town Attorney meets that burden of proof, a judgment will be entered against you, fines and/or court costs will be assessed, and, if your offense is a traffic offense, the judgment will be certified to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles.  If the Prosecutor or Town Attorney does not meet that burden of proof, a judgment will be entered in your favor and no fines or court costs will be imposed.

If fines and/or court costs are imposed, you may request that you be permitted to delay your payment.  If you do not pay on time, the Court will certify your failure to pay to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, and your driving privileges will be suspended.

If you cannot appear for your trial and you want a continuance (postponement), you must request that continuance at least five (5) days before trial. You do not need to have a lawyer to get a continuance. You need to have a good reason for your continuance. That good reason must be stated in a written continuance request. That written continuance request must be delivered to the Court in person, by mail, or by fax so that the Court receives it at least five (5) days before the scheduled trial date. Generally speaking, the Court will only allow one continuance to the person charged, and one to the Prosecutor or City Attorney.

If you do not appear at your trial, the Judge is permitted by law to enter a default judgment against you and impose fines and/or court costs, which you will be required to pay.  The Court will certify the default judgment and failure to appear to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles and your driving privileges will be suspended.

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