Animal Control & Codes Violations Hearings
When you are served with a citation from either county agency, the citation will list your charge(s) as well as a court date.
All Magistrate Court hearings are held at 9 am unless it is a special set case or another time is given to you to appear.
Failure to Appear
Note that immediately following the date of the hearing, you will receive a Failure to Appear citation. The citation reads: "a failure to appear and answer this charge will result in the issuance of a warrant for your arrest."
If you fail to appear for your arraignment, a bench warrant will be issued for your arrest. Bench Warrants carry a fine of $180.
On your court date, when your case is called, you will have an opportunity to plead guilty or not guilty. If you are guilty, you will more than likely have a fine. The fine is due on the morning of court. If you do not have the money, you will be placed on probation 60 days per count, to pay the fines in full.
Some incidences, the judge may issue an order that you would have to comply with such as have a fence put up to ensure animals are restrained or have the property cleaned if there are unsanitary conditions. If you have such an order, you will have a 2nd court date given to you in court where you case will be reviewed to see if you are in compliance.
If you plead not guilty, but want your case to be resolved in the Magistrate Court, you will be given a 2nd court date called a Bench Trial. On this date, further evidence will be taken from the prosecuting witness (Animal Control, codes, or witnesses that has been subpoenaed).
If you plead not guilty but want your case transferred to State Court, you will need to leave a mailing address and phone number so that you may be notified. Your case will be sent to State Court and they will contact concerning the hearing.