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WELCOME TO THE BLOOMFIELD MUNICIPAL COURT
We are an independent branch of government constitutionally entrusted with the fair
and just resolution of disputes in order to preserve the rule of law and to protect the
rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and Law of the United States and this State.
The Municipal Court is principally directed by the Chief Municipal Court Judge, John A. Paparazzo. Our full time staff consists of our Deputy Administrator - Court Administrators oversee the day to day administration of our Court. There are currently four full time Clerks and one part time Clerk performing the daily functions and duties that keep the Court system going.
This is a list of some things the Court Staff
CAN and CANNOT do for you.
Please read it carefully before asking the Court Staff for help.
|WE CAN explain and answer questions about how the court works.
|WE CAN tell you what the requirements are to have your case considered by the court
|WE CAN give you some information from your case file.
|WE CAN provide you with samples of court forms that are available.
|WE CAN provide you with guidance on how to fill out forms.
|WE CAN usually answer questions about court deadlines.
|WE CANNOT give you legal advice. Only your attorney can give you legal advice.
|WE CANNOT tell you whether or not you should bring your case to court.
|WE CANNOT give you an opinion about what will happen if you bring your case to court.
|WE CANNOT recommend an attorney, but we can provide you with the telephone number of a local attorney referral service.
|WE CANNOT talk to the judge for you about what will happen in your case.
|WE CANNOT let you talk to the judge outside of court.
|WE CANNOT change an order issued by a judge.
We look forward to helping you in accordance with these guidelines.
In order to provide a clear understanding of litigant’s rights, we have put together some of the most commonly asked questions and answers.
Some common questions that are asked by the public are:
1. Question: If I wish to simply pay a fine for parking and certain moving offenses, what do I do?
Answer: Read the reverse side of the Summons issued to you. You may pay for parking offenses, other than handicapped parking violations, and certain moving violations without the necessity of a Court appearance.
Check the schedule of fines and penalties below for the appropriate amount and make your check payable to the Bloomfield Violations Bureau.
Be sure to check the Court appearance date on the lower front of the Summons. Your check must reach the Violations Bureau prior to that date.
Ordinance Description Penalties:
187-2 Parking in a Fire Lane $30.00
187-16 Overnight Permit Parking $30.00
252-2 Abandoned Vehicle $30.00
254-7 U-Turns Prohibited $90.00
254-8 Turns Prohibited Where Posted $90.00
254-18 No parking Any time $30.00
254-19 No Stopping or Standing $30.00
254-20A No Parking Between Certain Hours $30.00
254-20B No Overnight Truck Parking $125.00
254-22 One or Two Hour Parking $25.00
254-27 Snow Emergency- No Parking $50.00
254-36 Overtime Meter or Meter Feeding $25.00
187-13 Parking outside marked spaces $55.00
NOTE: The above fines can be increased at the discretion of the court.
2. Question: What do I do if I have received a Summons that requires my Court appearance and I wish to plead guilty at that time?
Answer: If your Summons is checked "Court Appearance Required" or for a handicapped parking violation and you wish to plead guilty, you must: (a) appear on the date indicated on the Summons or, (b) make arrangements to appear on another date prior to the date indicated on the summons.
You will be informed of your rights by the Judge in open Court.
The reason that your appearance is required is usually because the fine or penalty must be set by the Municipal Judge.
3. Question: If I have received a Summons issued by a Police Officer, State Trooper or another citizen and I wish to contest the allegations made in the Summons, how should I proceed?
Answer: You must contact the Violations Bureau by phone or in writing before the date that appears on the Summons simply indicating that you wish to contest the Summons and enter a plea of not guilty. The Violations Bureau will set a new Court date for you to appear at that time.
Normally, the first appearance after a "not guilty" plea will be scheduled to allow a conference with the Township Prosecutor. The Police Officer or Trooper may not be notified to appear on that date. If after a conference with the Township Prosecutor, a satisfactory resolution cannot be reached, the matter will be scheduled for trial by the Court. For Summonse issued by another citizen (possibly arising from an automobile accident) the matter may proceed to trial at your first appearance and you should be prepared for trial.
Certain infractions may result in the suspension of drivers privileges or a jail term You will be advised of your rights to an attorney at your first appearance.
4. Question: If I have been charged with a criminal offense, such as a disorderly persons offense, petty disorderly persons offense or a violation of a Township Ordinance (housing or otherwise), what must I do?
Answer: If you are charged with a criminal or quasi criminal matter you must appear on the date indicated in the summons. At that time you will be informed of your rights in the Municipal Court. You may wish an opportunity to seek the advice of an attorney or if you are financially disadvantaged, you may qualify for an attorney to be assigned. In any case, you will be directed by the Municipal Judge as to the next step.
5. Question: If I plead guilty or I am found guilty of any offense (traffic or criminal) and I am not satisfied with the judgment of the Judge finding me guilty or the sentence that he imposed, what can I do?
Answer: Any person who is dissatisfied with the finding made by the Court or the sentence that is imposed has the right to appeal to the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division. He or she will receive a "Trial De Novo" before a Superior Court Judge based upon the transcript of the hearing had at the Municipal Court level. You must arrange for the cost of the transcript by placing a deposit with the Court and file the appropriate forms provided by the Municipal Violations Bureau. You must accomplish the filing of your appear within twenty (20) days of the date of your conviction and/or sentence in the Municipal Court.
6. Question: What If I plead guilty or I am found guilty and I don’t have the funds to pay the fine?
Answer: You are expected to pay all fines when they are imposed. If the Court finds after inquiry that you do not have the appropriate funds to satisfy the fines and/or costs an Order may be entered requiring payment of at least one half of the fine and costs and a satisfactory payment schedule of weekly payments not to exceed sixty (60) days.
7. Question: What if I fail to appear, fail to notify the Court of a new address, fail to pay a fine or costs or otherwise fail to follow the direction in the Summons, by the Court Staff or the Municipal Judge? What is the Municipal Court empowered to do?
Answer: If you fail to comply with a Court directive, the Municipal Court may order a Bench Warrant for your arrest, suspend your driver and registration privileges and impose additional sanctions for your noncompliance.
1. You have the right to be informed of the charge against you.
2. You have the right to remain silent concerning the charge against you. Anything you say can be used against you.
3. You may plead guilty or not guilty to the charge against you. If you choose to plead not guilty, a trial will be scheduled. You must be prepared to proceed at that time.
4. You have the right to a reasonable adjournment to speak to an attorney and/or to prepare a defense.
5. You have the right to an attorney. You have the right to have an attorney appointed to assist you if the Court finds that:
(a) You are too poor to afford an attorney, and
(b) You are facing a sanction of magnitude, namely, a jail term, a suspension of your driving privileges or a substantial fine.
6. You are presumed innocent until proven guilty. The State has the burden of proving you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.