The Municipal Court is responsible for overseeing and adjudicating all municipal tickets issued by the Fox Point Police Department. Court staff do not provide legal advice. If you need legal advice, please contact a lawyer to represent you.
Information available from municipal court staff includes:
- Explaining and answering questions about how the court works
- Giving you general information about court rules, procedures, and practices
- Providing court schedules and getting a hearing scheduled
- Providing information from a case file as long as the case is not confidential
- Providing you with court forms and instructions that are available and checking your forms for completeness
- Giving information about court deadlines
Court staff cannot:
- Recommend what actions you could / might take
- Recommend what words to use in your court papers or what to say in court
- Research or interpret the law for you
- Apply the law to the facts of your case
- Let you talk to the judge outside of court or talk to the judge for you
- Take sides in a case
- Change an order signed by the judge
For questions pertaining to your court appearance, contact the Municipal Court Clerk at (414) 247-6637.
The issuance of a citation alleging a violation of a state law or local ordinance initiates the court process. The citation indicates a deposit permitted amount or mandatory appearance.
Juveniles who receive a citation must appear with a parent or legal guardian.
The court is not required to impose the amount indicated if you are convicted. The forfeiture amount could increase or decrease in response to and as indicated by circumstances of conduct at the time of the arrest, past record, or extenuating circumstances pointed out by the defendant.
Initial Appearance & Pleas
The court date indicated on the citation is commonly referred to as the initial appearance. The Court will call cases in the order you check in with bailiff. When your name is called, you will be asked to enter a plea. The choice of plea is between guilty, no contest, or not guilty. A plea of guilty indicates your admission of the charges against you. A plea of no-contest is not an admission, not a denial. It is generally viewed as a request to get the matter over with without any further need for appearance. On a plea of no-contest, you will be found guilty.
If you enter either a guilty or no-contest plea, in many cases you'll be given some consideration/reduction as to points or forfeiture/fine amount by the prosecutor who is in court.
The third choice for plea is not guilty. Enter the not guilty plea if you feel the ticket was issued in error, you have a defense to the ticket, and wish to contest the ticket. Upon a plea of not guilty, the matter will be set for pre-trial.
Pre-trial conference is an opportunity to negotiate and perhaps settle the case or discuss disagreements about what happened or the effect of the law on your specific circumstances. The pre-trial conference is between you and the prosecutor. The municipal prosecutor’s job is to prosecute. However, he/she is also a court officer under duty to treat you with respect. It is assumed that you will do likewise. Please keep in mind that the prosecutor does not represent you, he/she represents the community.
The pre-trial conference will end with a written conference sheet that represents either the settlement achieved or sets a trial date. If there is a settlement, then Judge Steinle has the opportunity to review and either approve or reject the settlement. Generally, a settlement is approved, since it represents a compromise that is acceptable to both sides.
If the pre-trial does not result in settlement, the next step is trial. At trial the municipality/prosecution has what is called the "burden of proof.” This concept means you don't have to prove yourself innocent, the prosecution must show by clear, satisfactory, and convincing evidence that you are indeed guilty of what you are charged with. After 1-01-11, this standard becomes evidence that is clear, satisfactory and convincing to a reasonable certainty.
Since the prosecution has this burden, they go first in presentation of witnesses, followed by the defendant's witnesses. Each party has the right and opportunity to cross-examine (question) the other party's witnesses. After the conclusion of all testimony, review of any evidence (written documentation, pictures, diagrams, etc.) presented during the course of trial, and a review of specific law, Judge Steinle will make a determination of either dismissal or finding of guilt on the citation. There is one clear winner and one clear loser at trial. The prevailing party may be awarded some minor statutory costs, where allowed.
Under the laws of this state, certain evidence, such as a radar speed reading, is generally presumed scientifically accurate with foundational testimony by the officer. This long standing rule of the Wisconsin Supreme Court is found in the National Transport (1973) case (stationary radar) and Hansen (1974) case (moving radar). Under these cases, radar essentially acts as a witness against the person who was driving the vehicle that was clocked. In these situations, it is no longer a matter of the driver’s word against the officer's word.
The Municipal Judges trial decision can be appealed by either party to the Milwaukee County Circuit Court. Any appeal must be filed in writing within 20 days after judgment, or the right to appeal is forfeited. The appeal fee and any other appropriate costs and forfeitures are due and must be posted upon filing the appeal. An appeal can either be on the trial record or on the basis of a de novo (new) trial at the circuit court level.
Assessment of Forfeiture
If at any point an individual is found guilty of an offense, a forfeiture (fine) will be assessed. Payment can be made by cash, check, money order, or charge card. Upon request, an extension for payment of the forfeiture will be granted. If not paid, there are a number of alternative sanctions that will be utilized to enforce accountability against the non-paying individual.
The first is a two-year suspension of that individual's driver's license. In order to get the driver's license back, that individual has to not only pay the original forfeiture, but then go to a driver's testing station, fill out a form, usually stand in line, and pay a fine to reinstate his/her privileges. However, that person's driving record will reflect the suspension for a period of five years with obvious consequences.
The second sanction is the issuance of a commitment. A commitment directs any police officer in the State of Wisconsin to pick up the person who is the subject of the commitment and transport them to the Milwaukee County jail, where in most cases they can work off the amount of the forfeiture at the rate of $50.00 per day.
the Municipal Judges policy and philosophy is that the vast majority of our fellow citizens who are responsible and take these matters seriously should be doing so with confidence that the few who ignore their responsibilities face the appropriate consequences.
This court has jurisdiction over persons age twelve to seventeen for non-traffic ordinance violations. All hearings are closed and private unless there is a waiver of this right. A current or future driver's license suspension may be the alternative for failure to pay any assessed forfeiture. A juvenile defendant’s parents may also be responsible for paying their child's forfeiture with all the ramifications set forth above for non-payment by the parent.
The Fox Point Municipal Court holds all proceedings in Judge William Padway Hall, which is located within the police department.
Fox Point Municipal Court
7300 North Santa Monica Boulevard
Fox Point, Wisconsin 53217
Court begins at 7:00 pm; however, the doors to the court open at 6:15 pm with the village prosecutor meeting citizens on a first come-first served basis. When you arrive, check in with the court clerk.
Payments for citations can be made in person at the Fox Point Municipal Court during regular business hours. Cash and credit cars are accepted.
Fox Point Municipal Court
7300 North Santa Monica Boulevard
Fox Point, Wisconsin 53217
- Monday -Thursday 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
- Friday 8:00 am - 12:00 pm
- Saturday /Sunday Closed
After hours, payments can be made online with a credit card or cash can be deposited in the secure lock-box in the police department lobby. Please write your name and the citation number on the outside of the envelope if you use the drop-box.
Payments can be made online with a credit card; however, the use of a credit card for payments is managed by an outside vendor and a separate fee will be charged by the vendor for this service.
Online Citation Payment (Payment Services Network)