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Joint Municipal Court

(973) 593-3029
Hartley Dodge Memorial Building
50 Kings Road
Madison, NJ 07940 (map)

Frequently Asked Questions About Municipal Court

What must I do if I plan to plead not guilty?   If you intend to plead not guilty to the offense charged in the Summons and Complaint and have a trial, you must notify the Court of your intention at least 7 (seven) days prior to your scheduled court date.  If you fail to notify the Court it may be necessary for you to make 2 (two) court appearances.  Please notify Court of disability accommodation needs.

When is a court appearance required?  If "Court Appearance Required" is checked on the Summons and Complaint, you must appear in court at the time and place indicated if you did not notify the Court of a not guilty plea, or are pleading guilty.  Please notify the Court of disability accommodation needs.

What if I plan to plead guilty and pay the prescribed penalty?  If you wish to plead guilty and give up your rights to have a lawyer and a trial you may do so provided the "Court Appearance Required" has not been checked on the Summons and Complaint and provided the charge is listed on the Violations Bureau Schedule.  The more frequently charged State and/or Local (Supplemental) Violations Bureau offenses and prescribed penalties are listed on the back of your Motor Vehicle Summons/Complaint.  You may also telephone the Violation Bureau to determine whether other offenses are listed on either the State or Local (Supplemental) Violations Bureau and and the amount of the penalty.  If the Violations Bureau is authorized to dispose of this charge, complete in full the APPEARANCE, PLEA AND WAIVER on the back of the Summons and Complaint and bring or mail to the Violations Bureau at the address indicated above.

How do I make payment by mail?  If payment is to be made by mail do not send cash but send check or money order payable to the "MADISON JOINT COURT."  If payment is received by the violations Bureau after the appearance date you may be assessed additional penalties.  A receipt will be sent to you only if your payment is accompanied by a self-addressed stamped envelope.

What if I fail to appear in response to a summons or to pay the prescribed penalty?   If you fail to appear in response to a summons or to pay the prescribed penalty additional penalties may result, a warrant may be issued for your arrest and your driving privileges in New Jersey may be revoked. 

What if I have been charged with a parking offense and fail to appear or pay the prescribed penalty? If you have been charged with a parking offense, your failure to appear or pay the prescribed penalty shall be considered an admission of liability and a default judgment may be entered against the owner of the vehicle.

Do I need a lawyer?   The Court may not advise you on whether to hire an attorney. If you feel you need an attorney, the choice would be yours.

Must I hire my own lawyer? Yes.

What if I cannot afford a lawyer?   If you cannot afford a lawyer and you are charged with a serious offense involving possible loss of driver’s license or jail, you may apply to the court for a public defender.

Do I have to pay for the Public Defender?   You may be charged a fee between $25 - $200 depending on your financial status.