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Discussion but no action on possible Stevens Point municipal court concept

by
District Court Administrator Ron Ledford
Stevens Point City Attorney Andrew Logan  Beveridge
Small crowd and not enough City Council members for a quorum Tuesday for informational presentation on creating a municipal court.
District Court Administrator Ron Ledford

STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WSAU) - Plenty of discussion, but no decisions from Stevens Point City Council members Tuesday on the subject of creating a municipal court. The Council couldn’t take any formal action since they did not have a quorum in attendance.

District Court Administrator Ron Ledford was there to describe what municipal courts can and cannot do, and answer questions from leaders of Stevens Point and Plover. He says municipal courts can be set up with a lot of flexibility to meet local needs.

The Village of Plover officials also attended the meeting, exploring the possibility of forming a joint municipal court with Stevens Point. Plover Police Chief Dwayne Wierzba says they want to learn if this is feasible.

Stevens Point Police Chief Kevin Ruder is convinced a municipal court would be a win-win for the community. He says it would lessen the workload for the county circuit court and allow for easier scheduling for both officers and defendants with possible evening hours. Ruder says one thing motorists will notice is smaller dollar amounts on most traffic citations, since a speeding ticket would go from over $200 down to $89 dollars.

City Attorney Logan Beveridge says creating a municipal court is something he campaigned on, and he’s hopeful it can happen. He’s not sure if the city council will support it yet. Beveridge says creating a municipal court would be good for both the city and the county. First, he says it would reduce the caseload for the circuit court. Second, Beveridge says the municipal court would cover it’s own expenses.

If municipal court is created, a convenient and secure location is already available in the room formerly used as the city dispatch center.

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