MUNICIPAL COURT

The City of Lawton Municipal Court is the Judicial Branch of City government and is created and authorized by Oklahoma State constitution and statutes, and city ordinance as a Court Not of Record. The Municipal Court serves the citizens of Lawton through the efficient processing of misdemeanor violations.

 

Duties as required by State law include record-keeping, accounting and reporting to State agencies, receipt and disbursement of monies tendered for fines, bonds, court costs and related fees. As the law dictates, the dispositions of traffic offenses are reported to the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety, as are requests for suspension of driving privileges for failure to comply with terms of citations.

 

The Honorable Nathan Johnson, Municipal Judge, presides over the Court and provides judicial determination of alleged violations of municipal ordinances in a just, speedy and cost effective manner. These procedures include the initial appearance (arraignment) where the defendant is advised of the charge and notified of his or her rights and possible sentence before a plea is accepted. The Court holds additional hearings to set bond, appoints attorneys for the indigent, issues administrative orders and rules on various motions presented before the court. Additionally, the Court convenes for non-jury trials and jury trials as required.

 

The Director of the Lawton Municipal Court is Bart Hadley. He and the rest of the Court Clerk staff are committed to providing outstanding customer service. Although we will not offer legal advice, our staff members are here to help the citizens navigate through the necessary legal processes they face with the goal of providing a high level of quality customer service. Our hours of operation are from 8 to 5, Monday through Friday, and we are open during the lunch hour as well.

 

 

CITATION INFORMATION

 

A citation, also referred to as ticket, is a legal document charging an individual with a violation of a municipal ordinance.  Once a citation is issued, the individual receiving it is required to take certain action. 

 

An individual has the right to enter a plea of not guilty, nolo contendere, or guilty.  A plea of not guilty means an individual does not believe they committed the violation in which they are accused.  To enter a plea of not guilty, you must appear before the Judge. You will then be required to post a bond and a new trial court date and time will be set. A plea of nolo contendere means not contesting the violation and results in a finding of guilt.  This plea is often referred to as a no contest plea.  A plea of guilty means admitting guilt and paying the established fine, the state required fees and court costs. Both nolo contendere pleas and guilty pleas will require you to pay your fine at that time.

 

By failing to either appear or to pay your citation, a warrant shall be issued, as will a new charge of Failure to Appear. This will result in additional fines/costs being assessed of up to $750.00.

 

 

PAYMENT OPTIONS

 

Online and Telephone Payment Options Now Available for Certain Lawton Municipal Court Fines/Costs.

 

The Lawton Municipal Court is pleased to announce new payment options for our customers. For certain citations issued by the Lawton Police Department you are now able to pay the required fines/costs online or by telephone with your Visa, MasterCard, or Discover credit or debit card. This service is available 24 hours a day, every day, including weekends and holidays, by a third party payment system.

 

Both online payments and telephone payments are provided as an option to our customers by nCourt Government Payments. nCourt charges a convenience fee to those electing to use one of these payment options. The City of Lawton does not receive any revenue from this service fee.

 

 

Pay OnLine:

The following link will take you to the secure payment site provided by nCourt (Lawtoncourtpayments.com)

 

 

 

Pay by Phone:

If you wish to pay by phone, you may call nCourt at 1-855-895-8064. Their helpful customer service agents will assist you with the payment process Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. through 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. through 5 p.m. Payment must include the citation number of the ticket being paid.

 

Pay in Person:

You may also make payments in person at the Lawton Municipal Court, located at 102 SW 5 th St., in downtown Lawton. However, please NOTE: NO PERSONAL CHECKS are accepted. Here at the Lawton Municipal Court we accept cash, money orders, cashier’s checks and/or Visa and MasterCard debit and credit cards.

 

Pay by Mail:

Payments may also be mailed to the same address listed above. However, the only forms of payment accepted through the mail are money orders or cashier’s checks. Please do not send cash through the mail and NO PERSONAL CHECKS are accepted. Payment must include the citation number of the ticket being paid.

 

Please note that all deadlines remain the same regardless of the method of payment you choose and we therefore must still receive payments through the mail before those deadlines pass.

 

After Hours Drop Off:

An outside night depository is also available at the Northwest corner of the Municipal Court Building. Payments in the drop box must be in the form of money order or cashier’s check. Do not leave a cash payment in the drop box and NO PERSONAL CHECKS are accepted. Payment must also include the citation number of the ticket being paid.

 

Please note that payments from the drop box are processed each business day morning. Because all deadlines remain the same regardless of the method of payment you choose, you are still responsible for ensuring your payment is left in the drop box prior to 8 a.m. on the day of your deadline.

 

 

COURT INFORMATION

 

Security:

Court security is stationed and observes all court proceedings. In addition, the Court building is equipped with video and audio surveillance equipment. Weapons of any kind are not allowed, regardless as to whether the individual has any type of firearm permit or not. Any questionable items brought into the court and/or court clerk’s area will be removed by law enforcement.

 

Appearance:

Any person removed from the courtroom for a violation of any court rule will be deemed to have not appeared.

 

Arraignment:

Court arraignments are typically held each business day at 9 a.m. and again at 1:30 p.m. Court arraignments are the defendant’s opportunity to enter a plea of guilty, not guilty, or nolo contendre.

 

Identification:

Valid identification and/or the citation are required during arraignment.

 

Etiquette:

All parties will treat each other in a professional and respectful manner.  Yelling, excessively loud talking, profanity, or profane gestures will not be tolerated.

 

Dress:

Persons making appearance before the Court shall be dressed appropriately. Distracting clothing is prohibited in the Courtroom. Gentlemen should wear long pants and collared shirts with sleeves, ladies should wear pants, dresses or skirts of a modest length and modest shirts or blouses. Violation of the guidelines may result in your unexcused removal from the Courtroom.

 

Noise:

The court shall preserve order and quiet in the courtroom. Unnecessary conversation, loud whispering or any other disconcerting or distracting activity by anyone in the courtroom or so nearby it creates diversion is forbidden.

 

Children:

Prior arrangements should be made for childcare. However, regardless of circumstances, crying, loud, or disruptive children and infants shall leave the courtroom. 

 

Electronics:

Cell phones or electronic device usage is not allowed during a court session except for purpose of displaying or providing evidence.  Any other use is not allowed; All electronic devices are to be turned completely off or set to silent when in the court room.

 

Recording:

All audio and/or video recording is prohibited in the courtroom.

 

Tobacco:

Use of tobacco, in any form whether true or synthetic, including all e-cigarettes and vapor devices are forbidden.  Any form of tobacco use, e-cigarettes and/or vapor products on city property is prohibited; this includes the parking lot and grounds surrounding the Court building.

 

Contempt of Court:

The violation of a Court Rule is contempt of court. Contempt of court may be administered by the court in order to protect the rights of the parties and the interests of the public by assuring the administration of justice is not obscured.

 

 

COMMON QUESTIONS

 

If I pay my citation before my assigned court date, do I still have to appear in court?  

 

No.  If a citation is paid before your scheduled court date, your court appearance is not required. However, there are many charges that require an appearance before the Judge and these charges cannot be paid until seen by the Judge.

 

What if I'm unable to pay my citation by my court date?  

 

You still have the option to appear before the Municipal Judge and if your fine is not paid, you are required to appear before the Judge.  The Lawton Municipal Court is located at 102 SW 5th Street, in downtown Lawton.

 

Will the violation go on my driving record?  

 

Under Oklahoma law, municipal courts are required to transmit a violation within five (5) days of the final disposition date to the Department of Public Safety. Some offenses do go on your driving record and some do not.  For additional details, information or questions you should contact DPS at (405) 425-2059.  

 

What happens if I fail to appear at my arraignment?  

 

If the citation is not paid, a warrant is issued.  See Notice for warrant information.

 

Can someone else pay my citation?  

 

If it is a type of citation that does not mandate a court appearance, then yes, another person may pay your citation. However, you will need to sign the back of your citation and have them bring the signed citation with them. The citation may also be paid on-line or by telephone (see payment options).

 

Can I obtain a copy of my driving record?  

 

Yes.  A driving record is available at any tag agency.

 

If I have a warrant for my arrest, what are my options?  

 

You can come in to the Court Clerk’s office and have the Judge assess your fines/costs and then pay with cash, cashier's check, money order or credit/debit card. Or you can turn yourself into the custody of the Lawton Police Department.  

 

Once my warrant is paid and closed, how do I reinstate my driver's license?  

 

When a warrant is closed, the Court Clerk's office will process a release for the suspended driver's license and the defendant will then work with the Department of Public Safety to get the license reinstated.

 

Requirements of DPS :  

 

Take the release to the Department of Public Safety, located at 8 SE 7th Street, Lawton, Oklahoma.  The phone number for Driver Compliance is 405-425-2059.  The suspended driver's license is not reinstated until the requirements of the Department of Public Safety are satisfied.

 

 

DISCLAIMER

 

The intent of this webpage is to provide pertinent information regarding the processes and structure of the Lawton Municipal Court.  It contains options available to those in receipt of a citation issued by a complaining party, the City of Lawton Police Department, Neighborhood Services, Code Enforcement, or Animal Control.  The court is not responsible for the misinterpretation of the information provided on this page.

 

 

HELPFUL RESOURCE LINKS

 

District Court - Comanche County, Oklahoma

Office of Juvenile Affairs

OK DHS

Oklahoma Sex Offender Registry

OSBI

OK Bureau of Narcotics

Department of Public Safety

OK Dept of Mental Health

Mental Health Association of OK

Teen Dating Violence

Oklahoma Department of Education

Inhalant Abuse Prevention