Lawrence Municipal Court next week will roll out a pilot night court program, which will add an early evening docket once a month to create more flexibility for defendants.
The move is part of a push to reduce failures to appear in court. If defendants miss court, judges can issue arrest warrants, and getting booked into jail can cause serious repercussions for those who have citations or offenses that would not otherwise have involved jail time.
Night court will be staffed with Municipal Court Judge Chris Kopecky, a prosecutor, a courtroom clerk, a customer service clerk, a court security officer and a supervisor, according to a Wednesday news release from the city.
“The ‘add-on’ docket allows the court flexibility to handle almost any type of case and provides defendants with access to nearly all court services during the session,” according to the release.
The night court docket will be from 5 to 6:30 p.m. on the third Wednesday of each month, starting Aug. 16.
“Residents who want to be added to the docket will need to do so between 5-5:30 p.m. on the day of the Night Court session,” according to the release. “Those individuals will then be seen by the judge in a court docket setting from 5:30-6:30 p.m. If a resident wishes to use night court to pay a citation, that can be done anytime from 5-6:30 p.m.”
Anyone interested can call the municipal court at 785-832-6190 for more information.
Through Aug. 20, municipal court is also waiving $50 worth of parking tickets or citations for $15 worth of new school supplies. Read more about that at this link.
The city is also working on changes to how it handles parking enforcement. There will be a virtual meeting to discuss the changes from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. Monday, Aug. 14. Read more about that in this article.