Municipal Court Procedures
Please note: There are no in-person or virtual/phone court appearances held on the court date you have been given. All matters will be resolved by having you review your options below and follow the instructions depending on how you would like to plead.
When your name is called, please come forward and take a seat in front of the judge. The judge will ask for your full name and current address. You will be informed of the charge for which you have been cited and pending traffic demerit points, forfeiture amounts, etc. If you have any questions about the procedures or do not understand the charge, you may ask the judge and he/she will answer any questions you have.
You will then be asked to enter a plea to the charge at which time you should answer Guilty, No Contest, or Not Guilty. Only those defendants who enter a plea of Guilty or No Contest will be heard this evening. After you enter a plea of No Contest or Guilty, the court will review the officer’s report and your driving record. You will be given an opportunity to inform the court about any mitigating circumstances, if any, surrounding the charge.
If you are found Guilty to the charge this evening, a forfeiture plus costs may be imposed. Forfeitures will be accepted by the court clerk and you will be given a receipt. However, payment can be deferred to the next court date if you cannot pay tonight or you can set up a payment plan with the Court. Payments can be made by check, cash or money order. Debit or credit payments can be processed online at the Village of Cottage Grove website (www.vi.cottagegrove.wi.gov). Failure to pay a forfeiture in the time allowed, may result in the suspension of your driver’s license for up to 1 year, tax intercept, collections or a warrant issued for your arrest.
If the defendant enters a Not Guilty plea, a mandatory Pretrial Conference will be scheduled at a pre-arranged date and time for you to speak with the municipality’s attorney either in person or by phone. If the municipal attorney is present, you can speak with him/her this evening. (see additional explanation below).
If you are cited for Driving While Under the Influence of an Intoxicant (OWI) and plead Not Guilty, you may request a jury trial before the County Circuit Court. A written request along with the required fees must be made within ten (10) days of the initial appearance and your Not Guilty plea. (NOTE: Any citations accompanying the OWI charge stay in municipal court.)
You have the right to be represented by an attorney or you may go ahead without one. If you want an attorney, you must retain one at your own expense. The court will not provide you with an attorney.
- If you do not want to enter any formal appearance and prefer to dispose of your ticket simply by paying it, you can do so either by mail or online.
- If you choose to plead Not Guilty, the court will schedule a telephone pretrial conference with the Cottage Grove village attorney just as if you had appeared in person and entered your plea. You will receive a date, time and instructions for your phone conference.
- If you wish to plead No Contest or Guilty, you should include with your plea a description of any circumstances surrounding your ticket which you would like the court to take into consideration. This includes proof of insurance, valid registration, etc.
- If you are a juvenile and wish to plead No Contest or Guilty to your municipal citation, you will, in most cases, be offered resolution of your ticket via Peer Court. Traffic citations cannot be sent to Peer Court.
- If you fail to enter a plea or fail to pay your citation, the court will enter a finding of guilty by default judgment. You will have 60 days from that date to pay your citation(s).
Your plea must be entered or payment made by the court appearance date on your citation. Submit your plea by email (email@example.com ) or regular mail or put in the drop-box at the Village Municipal Building, 221 E. Cottage Grove Rd., Cottage Grove WI 53527. Payment can be made by check or money order or on-line at the Village of Cottage Grove website ( www.village.cottage-grove.wi.us ) under Bill Pay then Pay Court Fines. You may request time to pay extension.
If you have any questions concerning these procedures, please get in touch with the court by email (firstname.lastname@example.org ) or by phone (608-839-8064). Please advise the court if you have a change of address or wish to provide your email.