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Municipal Courts

The municipal court is the judicial branch of a city. Municipal, or city, courts are presided over by municipal judges. The municipal courts deal with alleged violations of city ordinances committed within the city limits, usually involving traffic and other minor offenses. Persons charged with an offense in municipal court may be represented by a lawyer, but the judge hears the cases without a jury. Anyone convicted in municipal court may appeal to the district court of the county in which the municipal court is located.

Municipal court judges are appointed by the governing body of the municipality as provided by statute and must meet the following qualifications: be a U.S. citizen; be a high school graduate or equivalent; in first-class cities, be an attorney regularly admitted to practice law in Kansas; and, in cities other than first class, be an attorney regularly admitted to practice law in the state of Kansas or be certified by the Kansas Supreme Court. All nonlawyer municipal judges have 18 months from taking office to complete a training program and pass an examination given by the supreme court. In addition, nonlawyer judges must attend 10 hours of continuing legal education each calendar year, which is provided by the supreme court.