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Guide to Municipal Court

Municipal Court Informations
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Detective Sgt. Ben Gering
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What is the Municipal Court?

The Municipal Court is a local court created by state law, whose territory is confined to the city or community in which it is located.  Practice and procedures are governed by New Jersey Court Rules.  The Municipal Court Judge is responsible for overseeing the administration of his/her Municipal Court.  The Assignment Judge of the Superior Court (office located in Trenton) is responsible for overseeing the administration of all the municipal courts in Mercer County.

There are thirteen (13) municipal courts in Mercer County.  Each municipality appoints its own Municipal Court Judge.  Other personnel may include the Court Director, Court Administrator, Deputy Court Administrator and Violations Clerk.

Information on Traffic Summonses.

Once a traffic summons is issued, if you plan to plead not guilty, you must notify the Court at least seven (7) days before your scheduled court date. (Address and other instructions can be found on back of summons).  If you fail to notify court of your intentions, it may be necessary for you to make additional court appearances.

If you fail to appear in response to a summons or pay the prescribed penalty, additional penalties may result.  A warrant may be issued and your driving privileges in New Jersey may be suspended.

What happens on your day of Court?

It is very important that you arrive to court on the date and time stated on your ticket, summons, subpoena or court notice, assuming your ticket requires an appearance.  Once you arrive, you should check in with the Court to make sure you are on the docket.  If you arrive late or your name is not called, check with the court personnel.

All municipal court proceedings are tape recorded.  The length of time you spend in court depends on many things.  Some cases take longer than others.  Please be patient so that the court may give each case the time and attention it deserves.

At the beginning of each court session, the Judge will give an opening statement, explaining court procedures, defendant’s rights and penalties.  When each case is called, the Judge will individually advise each defendant of his/her rights.  A case may be postponed to permit the defendant to retain a lawyer.  If the defendant wishes to plead guilty, the Judge will ask questions regarding the incident to make sure there is basis for the guilty plea.

If the defendant pleads not guilty and all parties involved are present, the case will proceed to trial.  Once the Judge hears testimony, he/she will decide if the defendant is guilty, not guilty or if the case should be dismissed.  If found guilty, the Judge will then impose a sentence.

If the court finds you guilty, you have twenty (20) days in which to appeal the decision.Appeal packets are available in the Court Office.  Appeals are filed with the Superior Court, Law Division in Trenton.

Indictable Charges

These charges are more serious criminal offenses, called indictable offenses, which can not be heard in Municipal Court. They are only scheduled for “first appearances” in Municipal Court.  The charges are explained and your right to an attorney and other rights will be explained.  These charges are then forwarded to the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office.

First Appearances

The first time a defendant appears in court before a Judge to be advised of the charge(s) against him/her and what the possible penalties can be, it is called  “first appearance”.  In most instances, only the defendant will be required to appear.  After the Judge advises of the rights, the matter will be scheduled for a future date.

In other instances, when parties involved are citizen complainants, the Judge may order all parties to mediation.

What is Mediation?

This is a confidential process which allows the parties to meet with a mediator who will aid them in resolving their dispute.  You may request mediation before court or the court will decide if your case is eligible.  Mediation usually takes place on a different date then the court date and a date will be assigned.

Points/Surcharge

In addition to penalties imposed by the court for moving traffic violations, the Motor Vehicles Commission may also assess points for certain violations.  The New Jersey Department of Insurance may also assess surcharges on insurance payments.

If you are not sure if your violation carries points, you may inquire at www.njmcdirect.com, click on Point Schedule.

N.J. Motor Vehicle Commission –888-486-3339 (Toll Free)609-292-6500 (Out of State)609-292-7500 (license suspension/restorations)

Citizen Complaint (Traffic/Criminal)

To file a complaint with the Princeton Municipal Court, the incident must have occurred within Princeton.  If the incident occurred within another jurisdiction, the complaint must be filed in that court.

For more information on filing a complaint, please call the court at 609-924-5042.

**DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ACTS may be reported to any local police department  24 hours a day.**

Web: http://nj.gov/counties/mercer/departments/hcd/program.html

 

Mercer County Affordable Housing Veterans Residence provides rental units for low-income veterans. The rental property is located at 2280 Hamilton Ave., Hamilton, NJ 08619. For more information, visit:

For eligibility and requirements, download the PDF handbook at:

http://nj.gov/counties/mercer/departments/pdfs/housing_veterans_residence_manual.pdf

To view the application, download a PDF copy at: http://nj.gov/counties/mercer/departments/pdfs/housing_veterans_residence_application.pdf

For more information, contact the Mercer County Affordable Housing Program at:

640 South Broad Street, Trenton, NJ 08611

Phone: (609) 989-6858, Fax (609) 989-0306

Web: http://nj.gov/counties/mercer/departments/hcd/program.html

 

3.4.2      Municipality-Specific Housing Programs

In Alphabetical Order by Municipality

Ewing: The Township of Ewing coordinates its affordable housing program in collaboration with

Piazza & Associates. They provide both home sales and rental units for low and moderate-income households.

Princeton Forrestal Village

216 Rockingham Row, Princeton, NJ 08540

Phone: (609) 786-1100, Fax: (609) 786-1105

Email: Ewing@HousingQuest.com

Web: www.piazza-and-associates.com/afhousing.php?pa=jefferson

 

Hamilton: Hamilton Townshipcoordinates its affordable housing program in collaboration with Piazza & Associates. They provide both home sales and rental units for low and moderate-income households.

Princeton Forrestal Village

216 Rockingham Row, Princeton, NJ 08540

Phone: (609) 786-1100, Fax: (609) 786-1105

Email: Hamilton@HousingQuest.com

Web: www.piazza-and-associates.com/afhousing.php?pa=hamiltonwelcome

 

Hamilton: Hamilton Township Housing and Urban Development Office provides information regarding Community Development Block Grant Program (i.e. housing rehabilitation), rental assistance (Housing Choice Voucher Program), and affordable housing.

2090 Greenwood Avenue, P.O. Box 00150 Hamilton, NJ 08650

Phone: (609) 890-3675, Fax: (609) 890-3525

Email: JBlakely@hamiltonnj.com

Web: www.hamiltonnj.com/HUD

 

Hopewell Township: TheTownship of Hopewell affordable housing program provides both for sale homes and rental units. Hopewell’s Affordable Sales are managed by Princeton Community Housing Development Corporation.

One Monument Drive, Princeton, NJ 08540

Phone: (609) 924-3822, ext. 5

Email: necall@princetoncommunityhousing.org

Web: https://www.princetoncommunityhousing.org/communities/hopewell-township-affordable-sales-program

 

Hopewell Borough: Hopewell Borough provides affordable housing in accordance with COAH. Contact the affordable housing liaison for more information.

88 East Broad Street, Hopewell, NJ 08525

Phone: (609) 466-2636, Fax: (609) 466-8511

Email: Michele.hovan@hopewellboro-nj.us

Web: www.hopewellboro-nj.us/departments/administration/affordable-housing/          

 

Hightstown Housing Authority serves low income residents of the Borough of Hightstown and the surrounding areas.

131 Rogers Avenue, Hightstown, NJ 08520

Phone: (609) 448-2268, Fax: (609) 426-9440

Email: kleprevost@Hightstownhousing.org

Web: www.hightstownhousing.org/default.aspx

 

Lawrence Township: Lawrence Township provides affordable housing for both purchasers and renters.

2207 Lawrence Road, P.O. Box 6006, Lawrence Township, NJ 08648

Phone: (609) 844-7087, Fax: (609) 896-0412

Email: Alink@lawrencetwp.com

Web: www.lawrencetwp.com/affhousing.html

 

Pennington Borough has limited affordable housing properties, which are advertised through the New Jersey Housing Resource Center at www.nj.gov/njhrc/find.

For more information, contact the Affordable Housing Liaison:

30 North Main Street, Pennington, NJ 08534-0095

Phone: (609) 737-0276

Email: eheinzel@penningtonboro.org (Eileen Heinzel, current affordable housing liaison)

Web: www.nj.gov/njhrc/find or www.penningtonboro.org

           

Princeton Housing Authority (PHA) is a government corporation that provides housing for low income families in Princeton while promoting self-sufficiency. PHA owns and manages 236 apartments for families, seniors, and disabled residents in addition to five developments in Princeton. Units may have income requirements.

1 Redding Circle, Princeton, NJ 08540

Phone: (609) 924-3448

Web: www.princetonhousing.org/

 

Robbinsville Township: Robbinsville Township provides affordable housing for both sale and rent. For more information, contact the Municipal Housing Liaison/Administrative Agent, Gail Pfister.

2298 Route 33, Robbinsville, NJ 08691

Phone: (609) 259-3600 ext. 110

Email: gailp@robbinsville.net

Web: www.robbinsville-twp.org/departments/affordable_housing/index.php

 

Trenton Housing Authority (THA) provides affordable housing for Trenton residents. For a listing of affordable rental properties in the City of Trenton, visit www.trentonnj.org/ documents/rental_housing_list.doc (Word document). For Trenton Housing Authority eligibility requirements, visit www.tha-nj.org/apply-for-public-housing.

875 New Willow Street, Trenton, NJ 08638

Phone: (609) 278-5000

Web: www.tha-nj.org/apply-for-public-housing

 

West Windsor: TheTownship of West Windsor affordable housing programs are coordinated in collaboration with Piazza & Associates. Sales and rentals are available for low and moderate income households.

Princeton Forrestal Village

216 Rockingham Row, Princeton, NJ 08540

Phone: (609) 786-1100, Fax: (609) 786-1105

Email: Info@HousingQuest.com

Web: www.piazza-and-associates.com/afhousing.php?pa=wwtwp

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