*Updates to Municipal Code – Effective August 1st, 2021*

Disclaimer: The following is a brief explanation.   This information is NOT to be taken as the law.

There are new laws and changes to existing laws, but you will find mostly wording updates to these sections that, for the most part, don’t change the laws themselves. The changes make the laws easier to interpret or clean up clerical errors. (Please reference the Municipal Code for the actual laws after August 1st, 2021; this is paraphrased for your convenience)

Ordinance 1722 – Chapter 11 – Criminal Money Judgments

Municipal judges will now have the authority to file criminal judgments in district court that include fines/costs and would be handled in the same manner as a civil judgment. The Judge will select cases that fit certain criteria including but not limited to delinquent accounts and order them to be filed with the Clerk of District Court. The City will then attempt to collect the debt.

Ordinance 1723 – Chapter 23 – Motor Vehicles & Bicycles

  • If you are issued a citation for Driving Without Liability Insurance, Failure to Register Motor Vehicle, or No Driver’s License in Possession, and you have valid insurance, vehicle registration, or driver’s license, though it was not in your vehicle at the time of the stop, providing proof to the Office of the City Prosecutor within 14 days of the violation may result in the citation being dismissed. Call the City Prosecutor’s Office at 701-456-3210 or stop in at 38 2nd Avenue E. Ste. A., and provide proof.
  • North Dakota will now allow your driver’s license to be stored electronically on your smart phone much in the same way proof of insurance can be stored electronically. You must contact the local DMV to purchase an electronic copy.
  • Bicycles must stop and yield in the same manner as a motor vehicle when approaching and/or entering an intersection.
  • The definition of ‘off-highway vehicle’ now includes motorized vehicles converted to operate on snow.
  • It is a Class B Misdemeanor if you are a resident of ND, are employed either temporary or full time in ND, but your motor vehicle is still registered in another state.
  • Throwing glass, garbage, etc. onto to a highway is a fine of $500.00.

Ordinance 1724 – Chapter 25 – Theft, MIC/MIP, Marijuana, Tobacco

  • If an individual has a prior conviction of Retail Theft/Shoplifting after August 1, 2021, a second or subsequent offense committed within 3 years of the conviction becomes a Class A Misdemeanor and is filed in District Court.
  • Minor in Consumption and Minor in Possession are now infractions and for a first offense the individual MAY also be sentenced to complete a drug/alcohol education program. For a second or subsequent offense, the sentence MUST include completion of a drug/alcohol education program.
  • Restaurant owners licensed to sell alcoholic beverages may allow individuals under 21 to enter and remain in the bar area until 10:00 pm if they are accompanied by a parent/guardian, and are more than three feet from the bar counter.
  • Individuals under age 21 that plead guilty to first offense Possession of Marijuana (less than ½ oz) MAY also be sentenced to complete a drug/alcohol education program. For a second or subsequent offense, the sentence MUST include completion of a drug/alcohol education program.

The Municipal Court has jurisdiction over traffic fines, infractions, administrative/non-criminal offenses, parking violations, and Class B Misdemeanors written on City codes.

The Municipal Judge is a part-time elected official responsible for oversight of the Municipal Court. In accordance with State law, the judge is law trained. He has a staff consisting a full-time Clerk of Court and two Deputy Clerks of Court. The Clerk of Court organizes the day to day administration activities of Municipal Court.

Download Bond Schedule

For more information about municipal court services, please contact:

Amy Spangler
Clerk of Court
701-456-7726
99 2nd Street East
Dickinson, ND 58601
City.Court@dickinsongov.com

Manager: Muncipal Judge

Criminal Procedures

A defendant is required to personally appear in court for Arraignment for the purpose of entering a plea. The Judge notifies defendants of their rights as a group before accepting individual pleas. Before entering the court room, the defendant must check in at the Clerk’s office to verify their contact information. If you are not scheduled for court we will provide you with the scheduled date and time to appear.

Due to COVID-19 social distancing requirements, the number of people allowed in the court room is currently LIMITED to those scheduled for court. Make other arrangements (child care, transportation, etc.) before your court date.

Criminal offenses under the jurisdiction of Dickinson Municipal Court include B Misdemeanor and Infraction violations. Examples include (but are not limited to): Driving Under the Influence, Driving Under Suspension/Revocation, Disorderly Conduct, Minor in Consumption, Possession of Marijuana, and Simple Assault.

B Misdemeanor maximum penalties include up to or a combination of $1,500 in fines and 30 days in jail. Infractions carry a maximum penalty of $1,000 in fines and no jail time. Defendants convicted of either type of offense may have other conditions imposed, such as a Chemical Dependency Evaluation, Anger Management Classes, or a Victim Impact Panel. These are only a few of the more common conditions imposed.

The following information relates specifically to criminal offenses.

If you fail to appear for Arraignment, Pretrial Conference, Status Conference, or Bench Trial, any bond posted will be forfeited and a warrant for your arrest will be issued.

If you plead guilty: You will be giving up your right to a trial of any kind by pleading guilty and verify by signature that you understand this. The Judge will impose sentence immediately if your guilty plea is accepted.

Plea of not guilty: After a not-guilty plea is entered, a Pretrial Conference date is set and given to you in writing at the Clerk’s office. If you request a Court Appointed Attorney, you will fill out the application on-site and it will later be reviewed by the Judge to determine eligibility. The Clerk’s Office will contact you after the Judge makes his/her determination. If you do not request a Court Appointed Attorney, you will be given contact information for the City Prosecutor’s office to request discovery and/or discuss your case, before your next hearing.

Pretrial Conference: This hearing is held to discuss the discovery documents, and gives the defendant an opportunity to accept a plea agreement, or decide to take the case to trial.

If you are not represented by an attorney, and would like a bench trial in Municipal Court, a Status Conference is held approximately 2 weeks prior to the trial date for one final meeting to finalize the preparation for the trial.

Bench Trial: On the date set for trial, both the City of Dickinson and the defendant may present their witnesses and any evidence they have. Each side is given the opportunity to cross-examine the other side’s witnesses. In a criminal case, the defendant cannot be compelled to testify or present any evidence. If the defendant chooses to testify, the prosecutor may cross examine the defendant.

Burden of Proof: In criminal cases, the City of Dickinson must prove each element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt.

Jury Trial: A defendant charged with a class B misdemeanor in Municipal Court may request a jury trial. Jury trials are not available in Municipal Court, and instead would be held in Stark County District Court. A written demand for jury trial must be made within 28 days after a plea of not guilty is entered. The City of Dickinson prosecutes the case in District Court. If a defendant does not demand a jury trial within 28 days, the right to a jury trial is waived by statute.

To Appeal a Guilty Verdict in Municipal Court

In a criminal case, you may appeal the Municipal Judge’s decision to the District Court. A written notice of appeal must be filed with the Clerk of Municipal Court within 30 days after the entry of the judgment. The appeal is a new trial before a District Court Judge. The conviction is reported to the state licensing authority even if an appeal is filed.

The Clerk will forward the court file to the Clerk of District Court within five days after the appeal is filed. The Clerk of District Court will notify the defendant of future court appearances.

Posting A Bond

See the bond schedule for a detailed list of criminal offenses and their bond amounts.

Non-Criminal Procedures

Traffic violations under municipal ordinance, classified as non-criminal offenses, carry only a monetary penalty. The person may pay the established penalty for the violation set forth in the Dickinson Municipal Code. Non-criminal offenses include (but are not limited to) violations such as speeding, disregarding a stop sign, failure to register a motor vehicle, possession of tobacco by persons under age 21, and animal-at-large violations.

Receiving a Citation

If you are issued a citation for a non-criminal offense, you may plead guilty by paying the bond amount listed on your citation, or plead not-guilty by posting the bond amount and requesting a court date within 14 days of the offense date.

The following information relates specifically to non-criminal offenses.

If you post the required bond by the due date given on the citation, there is no further action required on your part. The bond amount for a non-criminal offense must be paid in full in person, over the phone, or by mail. After hours, on weekends, or on holidays, you may deposit your bond in the drop-box located behind the City Hall building.

If you wish to plead not guilty you must request a hearing and post the required bond indicated on the citation within 14 days of the offense date. The bond will be returned to you if you are found not guilty. By law, an Administrative Traffic Trial must occur within 90 days of the offense date.

Pretrial Conference: The Clerk’s Office will give you a date for a Pretrial Conference, roughly within 6 weeks of the offense. Before this date, make an appointment with the City Prosecutor to request discovery. Court Appointed Attorneys are not eligible for non-criminal offenses, but you may retain an attorney at your own expense. This hearing is held to discuss the discovery documents, and gives the defendant an opportunity to accept a possible amendment of the original charge, or decide to take the case to trial.

If you are not represented by an attorney, and would like a trial in Municipal Court, a Status Conference is held approximately 2 weeks prior to the trial date for one final meeting to finalize the preparation for the trial.

Administrative Traffic Trial: As is the procedure for criminal bench trials, the City Prosecutor and the defendant have the opportunity to cross-examine anyone who testifies. You do not have a right to a jury trial in a non-criminal matter except for non-criminal traffic offenses with a fine of $20.00 or more. You must appear on the date and time scheduled for the trial, or the posted bond will be forfeited (guilty by non-appearance) and the case will be closed.

Burden of proof: In non-criminal cases, the burden of proof required is the preponderance of the evidence, which means the City of Dickinson must only show that the offense is more likely than not to have occurred.

The following information relates specifically to No Liability Insurance citations.

If you had valid liability insurance at the time of the stop, but not in your possession, you may present your proof to the City Prosecutor’s office at 38 2nd Avenue E, Dickinson, ND. Upon reviewing your document(s) and confirming your insurance to be valid, the Prosecutor will order a dismissal of the citation, which would be mailed to the address on the ticket. No further action would be required on your part.

If you did not have valid liability insurance at the time of the stop, follow the procedures previously outlined for non-criminal offenses. You may be required to file proof of liability insurance (SR-22). Contact the ND DOT at (701) 328-2604 for more information.

Failure to Pay

If you do not follow the procedures as outlined, your driving privileges may be suspended by the North Dakota Department of Transportation, or by the licensing authority in the state where you are licensed. For certain traffic and non-traffic offenses, such as Open Container in a Motor Vehicle (passenger), Animal-at-Large, or Possession of Tobacco (under 21), the Municipal Clerk of Court may issue a Failure to Comply citation, which is a B Misdemeanor (see Criminal Procedures for maximum penalties).

To Appeal a Guilty Verdict in Municipal Court

For non-criminal cases, you may appeal your case to the District Court. A written notice of appeal must be filed with the Municipal Clerk of Court within 30 days after the entry of judgment. The conviction is reported to the state licensing authority even if an appeal is filed.

The Clerk will then forward the court file to the Clerk of District Court within five days after the appeal is filed. The Clerk of District Court will notify the defendant of future court appearances.

Point Reduction

For information on getting points reduced on your driving record by attending a Defensive Driving Course, visit the ND DOT here.

Parking Violation Procedures

Parking violations under municipal ordinance, classified as non-criminal offenses, carry only a monetary penalty. The person may pay the established penalty for the violation set forth in the Dickinson Municipal Code. Parking violations include (but are not limited to): Handicapped parking, wrong side of street, 2-day parking, recreational vehicle (Nov. 1st – Mar. 31st), fire hydrant, and blocking sidewalk.

Receiving a Violation

If you are issued a ticket for a parking violation, you must respond within 5 days by paying the violation in person, over the phone, or by mail. You may also request a hearing in Municipal Court.

The following information relates specifically to parking violations.

Your vehicle may be towed by the authority of the Dickinson Police Department for certain parking violations including (but not limited to): 2-day Parking and Recreational Vehicle (Nov. 1st – Mar. 31st), if they are not moved by the date listed on the warning. Educate yourself! You can find all parking violations listed in Chapter 23 of the Dickinson Municipal Code here.

Handicapped Parking Violations may be dismissed by the Municipal Judge if you present your Handicapped Parking Placard and your Driver’s License to the Municipal Clerk of Court. Upon verification your placard is valid, the ticket may be dismissed.

Failure to Pay

If you do not follow the procedures as outlined, the Municipal Clerk of Court may issue a Failure to Comply citation, which is a B Misdemeanor (see Criminal Procedures for maximum penalties).

Frequently Asked Questions

Unfortunately, online payment options are not available for Dickinson Municipal Court. Call 701-456-7770 to pay over the phone, or stop in person at City Hall.

Absolutely! Municipal Court accepts credit/debit cards at City Hall or over the phone. 701-456-7770

Municipal Court is in session every Thursday beginning at 8:30 am. If Thursday is a government-recognized holiday, Court will NOT be in session. The easiest way to check when you have court is to search your name on the Public Record Search. If you’re having trouble finding your information, give us a call and we would be happy to assist you! 701-456-7770

In Municipal Court, only cash bonds are accepted, and guarantee your appearance in Court. Failure to appear will result in any bond being forfeited to the Court. If you wish your bond to be returned to the bond remitter, you must discuss this with the Judge in Court. Unless otherwise specified, your bond will be applied to your fines/fees upon entry of a plea of guilty.

Unfortunately, if you fail to appear at the date/time specified on your citation(s) or summons, a warrant will be issued for your arrest. This can also happen if you fail to follow conditions set at an Order to Show Cause, Review, or Warrant hearing. Check the Public Record Search to see if you have a warrant. Contact the Clerk’s office to see what you can do! 701-456-7770

Any citation related to your driving privileges will be on record with both the ND Department of Transportation and the licensing authority in your state. Since laws vary from state to state, we always recommend contacting both authorities. Click here for the NDDOT Frequently Asked Questions page.

Click here for the points schedule for ND. If you’d like to check the status of your ND Driver’s License, click here.

The Dickinson Municipal Court prides itself on working with our Defendants to make their fine payments. Communication is key! Call us if you can’t make your regular payment, or need to update your address. This may prevent you from having a warrant issued for your arrest! 701-456-7770

While it is YOUR responsibility to make arrangements to appear prior to your court date, we do understand that emergencies happen. Call us if you aren’t able to appear. The Judge usually will allow ONE reschedule, but there are exceptions to this rule! Never assume! 701-456-7770

  • Even though COVID-19 social distancing requirements have slightly relaxed, Municipal Court adheres to social distancing guidelines. Therefore, only the Defendant is allowed in the courtroom. The exception to this rule is a parent/guardian for a Juvenile, or a reasonable accommodation for someone with a disability, i.e. interpreter or case worker. We do not allow congregating in the lobby area of City Hall.
  • Children under age 14 are not allowed in the courtroom. Make childcare arrangements before your court date!
  • No hats are to be worn.
  • Cellphones must be turned off.
  • No food or beverages are allowed.
  • No weapons of any kind are allowed in the building.
  • You must pass through security before entering the courtroom.
  • You must remain professional and courteous throughout Court proceedings, or you may be held in Contempt of Court.

Municipal Court holds Bond Hearings daily, as needed, by video. Times can vary based on a number of factors, so if you’re unsure, call us. The outcome of the hearing is also based on a number of factors, so never assume your friend or family member will be released the same day. 701-456-7770

You may also contact the Southwest Multi County Correctional Center at 701-456-7790.

  • Call the local courthouse in your area for a list of locations. Remember, the evaluation must be given by a CERTIFIED ADDICTION COUNSELOR. Ask them to email the completion to citycourt@dickinsongov.com & the ND DOT at drs@nd.gov. The ND DOT requires you to follow any recommended treatment for eligibility to reinstate your driver’s license, and failure to do so may cause even more problems if you’re licensed in another state.

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