Municipal Court - Frequently Asked Questions
1. What kinds of cases does the Gilbert Municipal Court handle?
The Gilbert Municipal Court handles the following types of cases:
- misdemeanor criminal offenses, such as Driving Under the Influence, Shoplifting, Assault, Disorderly Conduct, Dog at Large, Municipal code violations and Commercial vehicle violations; and
- protective orders, such as Orders of Protection and Injunctions Against Harassment; and
- civil traffic violations, such as Speeding, No Insurance, Improper Turn.
The Gilbert Municipal Court does not handle the following types of cases:
- This Court does not handle felony criminal offenses, small claims, or civil suits filed by private citizens or corporations. For more information about these types of cases, please contact the Maricopa County Superior Court.
- This Court does not handle misdemeanors or civil traffic violations that occur outside the Town of Gilbert boundaries. For more information about these types of cases, please contact the municipal court for the city in which the offense allegedly occurred.
- This Court does not issue passports. For passport information, please contact the Clerk of the Maricopa County Superior Court.
- This Court also does not issue marriage licenses. For marriage license information, please contact the Clerk of the Maricopa County Superior Court. However, the judges of the Gilbert Municipal Court are authorized to conduct marriage ceremonies within the state of Arizona and at the Gilbert courthouse during non-business hours. Please contact the Court at 480-635-7800 for more information about fees and judicial availability.
2. What items are not allowed in the court building? The Gilbert Municipal Court maintains a staff of security guards who will require all members of the public to pass through metal detectors before entering the court lobby. Security will ensure that all devices are switched to a non-audible or vibrate mode. The following items will not be permitted in the court building:
- Use of tobacco products
- Firearms and any other deadly weapons
- Hazardous materials
- Food and beverages, other than baby bottles and necessary medications. Water bottles are not permitted; there are public water fountains available throughout the courthouse. And court staff can provide water in the courtrooms on an emergency basis.
- Children are permitted in the courthouse, however their presence in the courtrooms during court proceedings may be precluded by the judges, depending on the nature of the proceedings and the child’s ability to remain quiet. No childcare is available in the courthouse, however there is a small unsupervised play area in the courthouse lobby designed for very young children whose parents are with them.
- Cameras in the courthouse are permitted with the advance approval of the Presiding Judge.
3. I want to change my court date. What do I do?
Civil Traffic Cases - The defendant may attend an open court session prior to their scheduled court date. Open Court is currently held on Friday morning and begins promptly at 8:00am and 10:00am.
If the defendant cannot attend an open court session prior to the scheduled court date he/she must file a written motion in person or fax.
Criminal Case - The defendant must file a written motion in person or by fax.
(It should never be assumed that when you file a motion, that your court date is changed. If there is no ruling by a Judge then the defendant should appear as ordered.)
4. Can I have more time to complete the defensive driving school program? No, the defendant must appear at the arraignment session or an open court session and the judge will allow a reasonable amount of time for you to complete the defensive driving school program.
5. I missed by court date. What now?
Civil Traffic Cases - The defendant has defaulted and now owes the full amount of the fine. Contact a civil traffic clerk to determine the fine amount.
Criminal Cases - More than likely the judge has already requested a warrant be issued for the defendant. The defendant should be instructed to report to the court as soon as possible to address the failure to appear.
6. I have a warrant for my arrest. What do I do? The defendant must appear in court and post the bond in CASH ONLY and have the warrant quashed and a court date issued to come back to see a judge.
7. I missed my payment. What do I do? If you have missed your payment, please call the Court or appear in person for specific information on the status of your case.
8. I didn't make it to jail on time. What now? The defendant must appear in court immediately to see the sentencing judge or file a motion for an amended order of confinement.
9. What methods of payment does the Court take?The court takes cash, personal checks, and money orders. Payments can be made by and MASTERCard / VISA / DISCOVER, but are subject to a convenience fee of $2.50 + 3.5% of the amount paid and must be made at CitepayUSA.com.
If the defendant has a warrant and wants to post bond the court takes: Cash or money order only.
If the defendant’s case has been sent to collections, he/she must pay the Valley Collection Service. Call Valley Collection Service at (623) 931-4325
Option to make payments online is now available. (Please have your case number or citation number in order to pay on-line)
In order to make your payment on-line, here is the following criteria:
- Civil traffic and criminal violations and
- Violation date must be on or after Sept 19, 2007 (see citation to find violation date) and
- If your violation does not require a court appearance or
- Case has been assessed by the court with an outstanding balance
10. My license has been suspended. How do I get it back? If the suspension is the result of a citation from the Gilbert Municipal Court, you should call the court at 480 (635)-7800 for information.
14. How to do I get my court date postponed?
If you must request a postponement of any scheduled court date, you must file a motion in writing and fax or mail it to the court. The judge will rule on your request and mail you the ruling. Urgent motions should be faxed and marked ‘urgent’ for the fastest service. If you do not receive the judge’s ruling before you scheduled court date, you must appear as originally ordered. If you fail to appear for a criminal case, the case may proceed to trial, you may be convicted in your absence, and a warrant may issue for your arrest. If you fail to appear for a civil traffic case, a default judgment may be entered against you in the full amount of the fine, the amount may be sent to collections, and MVD may impose additional consequences against you.
15. Protective Order Questions?
Can I get a restraining order against (or for) a juvenile? Yes, as long as the juvenile(s) in question is over 12 years old. If they are under 12, you must file your petition in juvenile court. If you are seeking to protect a juvenile and you are the parent or guardian, you should list yourself as the plaintiff and the juvenile as a protected party. If you are seeking an order against a juvenile, you should list the juvenile as the defendant. The parents of all juvenile defendants must also be served with the order before it can be enforced.
Can I get a protective order against more than one person? You will have to file a separate Petition for each person from whom you are seeking protection. Each person will then have to be served with their individual order before the order becomes enforceable.
How can I serve the defendant if I don’t know his/her address? The court clerk will give you the defendant’s copy of the protective order. If the defendant contacts you, you should call 911 immediately and have the police serve the defendant at that time. In the alternative, you may hire a private process server to locate and serve the defendant, based on alternate information that you can provide for them.
I got the protective order served, now what do I do? Keep a copy of the order on your person at all times. Make sure that other protected persons keep their copies on them at all times also. Make sure all protected locations, such as employers and schools, keep a copy on file in the event the defendant attempts contact there. Notify friends and family that you have a protective order, so that they can help report any suspected violations. Keep an updated address and phone number with the Gilbert Municipal Court at all times. If the court notifies you of a hearing date, be sure to appear at the hearing or the order can be dismissed in your absence.
What if the defendant violates the order? If you suspect any violation of a served protective order, report it directly to 911 wherever you are when the violation occurs. Keep any evidence, such as phone records, photographs, journals, and messages, in the event the State has to prove the violation later. The police will then decide whether to charge the defendant with Interference with Judicial Proceedings, a class 1 misdemeanor in Arizona. Your protective order protects you statewide and nationwide.
There are additional locations/persons I need to protect now; can I modify the order? Yes. You will have to come back to Court during business hours to file a modification request. If the judge grants the modified order, you will have to ensure that the defendant is served with the modified order before it can be enforced.
How do I fight a protective order that is pending against me?File a written request for a protective order hearing. If you have not already had a hearing opportunity in the case, the judge will mail you a hearing date. In some cases that are time-sensitive, the court may attempt to notify you of the hearing date by phone. Keep an updated phone number with the court at all times for this reason. At the hearing, you are entitled to be represented by a private attorney and present evidence and witnesses if you wish. The plaintiff will have the burden of proving that the order should remain in effect.
16. How do I find an attorney? Contact the State Bar of Arizona for a referral. To apply for a public defender, file a written request with the judge and attach a financial affidavit in support of your request. Additional resources can be found at the Maricopa County Superior Court’s self-help center, including legal clinics and reduced-cost attorneys on site at certain times.
17. Do I need an attorney to represent me in my criminal case? No, an attorney is not required. You may represent yourself if you are comfortable doing so. If you wish to be represented by an attorney, you may hire a private attorney of your choice or apply for a public defender from this Court. The represented defendant should communicate with the Court through the attorney and NOT directly with the Court.
18. What if I need an interpreter or disability accommodation for my court date? The Court is required to provide reasonable accommodations for all litigants and required parties. Please note that parties in a criminal case may not use their own friends and family as court interpreters; an official court interpreter must be appointed by the Court. If you need any physical accommodations to appear in court, such as a hearing-impairment interpreter or access to medications or medical devices while at the courthouse, please put your concerns in writing and fax or mail them to: Court Administrator, Gilbert Municipal Court, 55 E. Civic Center Blvd., Gilbert, AZ 85296 - FAX (480) 635-7820. Unless you receive a written continuance from the Court before your scheduled court date, you should assume that the accommodation can be met and you must appear as directed. If you need an interpreter for any non-English language, please call 480-635-8840 (Spanish line) or fax or mail your request to: Court Administrator, Gilbert Municipal Court, 55 E. Civic Center Blvd., Gilbert, AZ 85296 - FAX (480) 635-7820. You may also appear in person on your scheduled date and have an English-speaking friend or family member ask the judge to reset the case after an interpreter has been appointed.
19. Can I go to Defensive Driving School to get a criminal ticket dismissed? In criminal speeding cases only, the judge may authorize DDS as a form of deferred judgment in a criminal case. This decision falls solely within the discretion of the sentencing judge after determining the defendant’s eligibility for the program. School is not available as a diversion program for any other criminal traffic offense.
20. I can’t afford a private attorney; how do I apply for a public defender? File a written motion and the attached financial affidavit. If an attorney is appointed for you, you will receive the attorney’s contact information and your next court date by mail. If you receive no ruling before your next scheduled court date, you should appear as ordered.
21. I was found guilty at trial; how do I file an appeal? File a Notice of Appeal form within 14 days of your sentencing date. The judge will then mail you additional instructions and deadlines. Your sentence will be stayed pending the outcome of the appeal.
22. I was dissatisfied with my attorney’s services; what should I do? If your attorney was a public defender out of this Court, complete a public defender survey form and mail it to the Court Administrator. You may report all suspected attorney malpractice complaints, for private attorneys and public defenders, to the State Bar of Arizona. If you were convicted of a crime after a trial, you may also consider filing a criminal appeal or a Petition for Post-Conviction Relief. See Ariz.R.Crim.P. 32 for more information. You may also consider seeking advice from a different attorney, to examine your legal options.
23. How do I file an ethical complaint about a judge? You may report any suspected ethical violations to the Commission on Judicial Conduct.
24. Other Common Questions