Municipal Court

Court Introduction

Missoula Municipal Court has jurisdiction of all misdemeanors and Missoula City Ordinance violations alleged to have occurred within Missoula city limits. Missoula Municipal Court has the largest volume of cases in the State of Montana, processing over 18,300 charges a year.

The Court is presided over by Missoula Municipal Judge Kathleen Jenks and Assistant Judges Sam Warren and Ethan Lerman.

COVID-19 UPDATE - May 20, 2020

Starting in June open court will no longer be held on Wednesdays. Please call (406) 552-6180 for information on appearances. The court will still be encouraging telephonic hearings. Defendants may call the day they want the judge to see them to be added to the docket. Open court hours will be Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 8:30 - 11:30.

COVID-19 UPDATE - May 13, 2020

Effective May 13, 2020 and until further notice:

The court continues to offer services via telephone, online payments, and video/teleconferencing means. Please call the court at 552-6180 if you do not understand how to proceed after reviewing the information provided below.

The number of persons allowed into our offices and courtrooms are limited by current social distancing practices to best protect the public and staff. Please keep this in mind when planning to come into the court. If you wish to go before a Judge, please understand the following:

Please wear a mask/facial covering.  You will be asked to wear a mask/facial covering both when entering City Hall and the court.

Please do not enter City Hall if you are experiencing any signs of the COVID-19 illness.

Enter City Hall via the entrance on 435 Ryman St. A City employee stationed at this entrance will direct you to the court foyer.  The court is allowing one person at a time in our foyer.

Persons waiting to see the court clerk may be asked to take a chair in the appropriately-spaced chairs in the hallway, so as to maintain the court’s ‘one person at a time in the foyer’ rule.

A Court clerk will work to determine whether court business can be handled at the counter, via telephone, or if persons need to go before a Judge.  If you wish to go before a Judge, please inform the clerk.

A Court clerk may ask you to go use the telephone in the hallway (near the main entrance) to contact the court to conduct your business.

Defendants who are represented by an attorney should contact their attorney before contacting the court.

Please be prepared to provide the court a correct phone number, email address and mailing address when planning to attend any hearing in court.  

Court scheduling

Municipal Court is holding hearings in both courtrooms each day.

The court prefers to continue to hold hearings via video-conferencing and telephonically. However, the court is now open for initial appearances and other appearance-types Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Please contact the court at 552-6180 before coming into the court, to ensure the most efficiency in handling your case.

Hearings

The Court will no longer Continue hearings that have already been set, with the exception of 

- court-ordered Continuances in response to a Motion to Continue,

- bench and Jury trials, and

- contested hearings will NOT be held telephonically, parties will need to be personally present at the scheduled time.

The Court will set a meeting for each specific hearing-type calendared time block. You will receive a meeting invite from one of the following email accounts, depending in which courtroom your hearing is being held:

AdminC@ci.Missoula.mt.us   or Admin2C@ci.missoula.mt.us

The invite is the same for joining telephonically or via Skype. The email will give the option to join both ways, and will look like this:

_____________________________________________________

Join online meeting

Join by Phone  (406) 552-6799 (Missoula)

Conference ID:  610705

_____________________________________________________ 

To Join via Skype for Business:

  • Open Skype for Business

  • Click the Blue “Join Online Meeting” link.

  • Skype for Business will open a new window, click OK

Skype for Business will NOT work if:

  • You have remoted into your work computer from another location

  • Other reasons related to your own technology set up, apps, and internet connectivity.

    To Join Telephonically:

  • Call the phone number provided in the invite
  • You will be prompted to enter the Conference ID provided in the invitation
  • Follow any additional prompts

You will only receive an invite if you have a scheduled hearing within that specific hearing-type calendared time block.

If you do not receive an invite when you believe you should have please contact judgeclerks@ci.missoula.mt.us.

Once you have joined the meeting:

  • PLEASE mute your phone/iPad/microphone until your case is called by the Judge.
  • Please be prepared to be on hold for extended time periods during these remote hearings. These wait times are necessary due to the high volume of cases being held via remote hearings.

The Court will initiate the phone calls to connect with Defendants for each hearing.

Attorneys: Please be prepared to provide the court the contact information for your clients.

If you have any questions related to hearing settings and/or invites, please contact judgeclerks@ci.missoula.mt.us


COVID-19 UPDATE - April 10, 2020

Starting next week the Court will not be continuing set hearings with the exception of trials and contested hearings.  All hearings will be held via the Court’s teleconference system.  The Court will set a meeting for each specific time block.  You will receive a meeting invite from the Courtroom Admin email that looks like this:

Join Skype Meeting

Trouble Joining? Try Skype Web App

Join by Phone: 

(406) 552-xxxx(Missoula)           English(United States)
Note: Each Invitation will have a different phone number that is based on which courtroom the hearings are being held

Conference ID: XXXXXX

Each invitation will have:

  • A different phone number that is based on which courtroom the hearings are being held

  • A different conference ID specific to that date and time

When you are joining the meetings you will want to ensure that you are getting the correct information from the invite.

You will only receive an invite if you have a scheduled hearing within that time period.  If you did not receive an invite when you should have please contact judgeclerks@ci.missoula.mt.us. The invitations will provide two different ways to join the meeting.  

To Join via Skype for Business:

  • Open Skype for Business

  • Click the Blue “Join Online Meeting” link.

  • Skype for Business will open a new window, click OK

Skype for Business will NOT work if:

  • You have remoted into your work computer from another location

  • Public Defenders have not had success connecting via Skype, this may be a firewall issue

To Join Telephonically:

  • Call the phone number provided in the invite

  • You will be prompted to enter the Conference ID provided in the invitation

  • Follow any additional prompts

Once you have joined the meeting:

  • Mute yourself until your case is called

The Court will still initiate the phone calls to connect with Defendants for each hearing. Please be prepared to provide contact information for yourself or for your clients if you are counsel of record

You will start to receive these invitations today for hearings set next week. If you have any questions please contact judgeclerks@ci.missoula.mt.us

COVID-19 UPDATE - March 30, 2020

Effective Immediately and Until Further Notice

As a precaution to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to protect the citizens of the City of Missoula, Municipal Court will only be available by phone or in writing. In the event you have received a citation that requires you to appear before the Judge, please contact the court by telephone and you will be informed as to what options you have available to you. Additionally, Municipal Court will conduct telephonic appearances daily between 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM. If you would like to appear on your citation during those hours, you will need to call the Court the morning you are requesting to appear and provide updated contact information to the Clerk. In the event you have a scheduled hearing and have retained or been assigned counsel, please contact your attorney for further clarity. Thank you.

COVID-19 UPDATE - April 10, 2020

Starting next week the Court will not be continuing sethearings with the exception of trials and contested hearings.  Allhearings will be held via the Court’s teleconference system.  The Courtwill set a meeting for each specific time block.  You will receive a meetinginvite from the Courtroom Admin email that looks like this:

Join online meeting

Join by Phone: (406) 552-6799 (Missoula)      English (United States)

Find a local number

Conference ID: 346250

You will only receive an invite if you have a scheduled hearing within that time period.  If you did not receive an invite when you should have please contact judgeclerks@ci.missoula.mt.us. The invitations will provide two different ways to join the meeting.  

To Join via Skype for Business:

      Open Skype for Business

      Click the Blue "Join Online Meeting" link.

      Skype for Business will open a new window, click OK

Skype for business will NOT work if:

      You have remoted into your work computer from another location

      Public Defenders have not had success connecting via Skype, this may be a         firewall issue. 

To Join Telephonically:

      Call the phone number provided in the invite

      You will prompted to enter the Conference ID provided in the invitation

      Follow any additional prompts

Once you have joined the meeting:

      Mute yourself until your case is called

The Court will still initiate the phone calls to connect with Defendants for each hearing. Attorneys should be prepared to provide contact information for their clients. Attorneys and Pro Se Defendants will start to receive these invitations today for hearings set next week. If you have any questions please contact judgeclerks@ci.missoula.mt.us. Thank you.

COVID-19 UPDATE - March 23, 2020

The Municipal Court is open. However, you may expect delays and decreased services.

The Court encourages you to explore alternatives to coming to court in person.

DO YOU NEED TO MAKE PAYMENT TO THE COURT?

Missoula Municipal Court is providing a 60-day payment due date extension on payments to the Court.

The Court understands how much the COVID-19 precautions are affecting everyone, and we want every person to be able to provide for themselves and loved ones during this time.

Missoula Municipal Court clerks will extend your payment date 60-days from the date requested.

You do not need to appear in court to get this extension, it can be requested by phone, e-mail or written request.

If you do want to make a payment, Citepay is a convenient option.

Payments can also be made by mail or placed in the drop box in the hallway outside of the courts main doors.

DO YOU WANT TO SEE THE JUDGE?

If you have an attorney, contact your attorney for your options.

Do you want to talk to someone about a case?

Call first and ask about your options.

You may receive an extension of time to appear or you may be allowed to appear by phone or SKYPE.

Municipal Court Clerks are available to talk to you about these options.

You may be surprised at how much you can accomplish by telephone.

Do have a question about compliance with sentencing or pre-trial monitoring? Call (406)274-8413

DO YOU HAVE A WARRANT FOR YOUR ARREST?

If you have an attorney, contact your attorney for your options.

If the warrant is for under $3,000.00, you can call the court and ask that it be quashed.

You will be given a new hearing date.

If you would like the OPD reappointed, please let the clerks know.

The clerks will set the hearing and quash the warrant by phone.

The clerks will tell you whether or not you need to appear in person at the next hearing.

If your warrant is over $3,000.00 you must appear in person.

Still have a question about your warrant? Call (406) 529-7488

COVID-19 UPDATE - March 18th, 2020

As Missoula addresses COVID-19 concerns, it is Municipal Courts goal to balance the health and safety of employees and citizens with everyone’s right to access the court. The court recognizes the physical restraints and crowded environment present in Municipal Court. We understand that many people may be unable to come to court in person or may have health concerns about doing so. To ease these concerns we are implementing some temporary policies. Please look at our temporary plan to see which changes may affect you.

  1. If you are appearing on a new traffic citation, please remember that you may be able to appear on the charge on CITEPAY (citepayusa.com). The court will no longer require a personal appearance to obtain a deferred imposition of sentence on traffic citations paid on CITEPAY. All citations handled via CITEPAY will receive a 6 month deferred imposition of sentence. A deferred sentence means that in 6 months if you have not had any other tickets and everything is paid in full, you must call the Municipal Court Clerks and request the points be removed from your DMV record. The removal is not automatic; you must call the court after 6 months.

  2. If you need or want to make an initial appearance on cases that do NOT involve the following charges:

61-8-401 DUI

45-5-206 PFMA

45-5-220 Stalking

45-5-209 Violation of No Contact Orders

45-5-626 Violations of Orders of Protection

45-8-213 Privacy in Communications

45-5-223 Surreptitious Visual Observation

45-5-502 Sex Assault

45-5-504 Indecent Exposure 

45-5-201 Assault

You may contact the court to request appearance by Skype or an extension on your appear by date.

  1. If you have a scheduled hearing please contact your attorney about the possibility of appearing electronically.

  2. If you are representing yourself and have a scheduled omnibus hearing, you may contact the court to arrange an electronic appearance.

  3. If you have been called to serve on a jury in the next two weeks and have not spoken to a clerk about your service, please call and do so.

Attorneys: The court would like to encourage everyone to use Omnibus waivers as often as possible. These are often provided by the City Attorney’s office with the omnibus memorandum or upon request. Toward that end, the Court will accept waivers up to the time the hearing is called. For example, if you meet with your client at the scheduled hearing time, get the waiver signed, and submitted to the Court you and your client would be free to leave.

Also, if you continuing or resetting trial you may use a similar waiver for the scheduling hearing. Your client will need to acknowledge the trial and related dates as well as the risks of failing to appear. These waivers will also be accepted up to the time the case is called.

There is also a Waiver of Final Pre-trial that is linked under the Attorney Resources tab. We would encourage you to review that form and utilize it as often as appropriate. As with the Omni waivers the Court will accept the pre-trial waivers up to the time the hearing is called. Again, this is something you could get signed in the hallway, provide to the Court, and then you and you client would be free to leave. 

It is likely the court will continue to make adjustments/accommodations as we navigate this situation. We will do our best to keep you informed.

DO YOU NEED TO MAKE PAYMENT TO THE COURT?

Missoula Municipal Court is providing a 60-day payment due date extension on payments to the Court so every person will be able to provide for themselves and loved ones during this trying time.

Missoula Municipal Court clerks will extend your payment date 60-days from the current case payment due date.

The Court would appreciate if you either call, email, or write to the Court requesting this extension.

The Court has prepared a form for this extension also.

It can be found online at https://www.ci.missoula.mt.us/2130/Pro-Se-Resources or on the bulletin board outside the Court.

If you need to drop off your request, please put it in the drop box which is located to the left of the main doors of Municipal Court.

If you wish to make payment,

You can go online to: https://www.citepayusa.com.

You will need your citation number or case/cause number and your date of birth.

  • PLEASE NOTE: If you are appearing on a new traffic citation please remember that you may be able to appear on the charge on CITEPAY. The court will not longer require a personal appearance to obtain a deferred imposition of sentence on traffic citations paid on CITEPAY. All citations handled via CITEPAY will receive a 6 month deferred imposition of sentence. A deferred sentence means that in 6 months if you have not had any other tickets and everything is paid in full, you must call the Municipal Court Clerks and request the points be removed from you DMV record. The removal is not automatic, you must call the court after 6 monthsl

You can mail payment to: Missoula Municipal Court at 435 Ryman St., Missoula, MT 59802.

Please include your name and date of birth and, if known, case/cause number.

UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE, you can drop payment off at: Missoula Municipal Court drop box located to the left of the main doors of the Court.

There are envelopes provided for the drop box.

Please include your name and date of birth and, if know, case/cause number.

Skype Appearances with the Traffic Bureau Settlement Master are encouraged to limit courtroom traffic

Defendants who wish to plead not guilty or discuss their case (on initial appearance) with a judge may, for many routine traffic offenses, see the Settlement Master instead. Please call the Settlement Master at (406) 241-6806 to make arrangements to be seen via Skype. You must have Skype installed on your device and have a working camera and microphone. If you intend to enter a guilty or no contest plea and are paying in full please consider using citepayusa.com. Defendants will automatically receive six month deferred sentences when paying new tickets online (you must call the court after six months to have the deferral granted).

THANK YOU!

Judge Kathleen Jenks

Judge Jenks earned her Law Degree from the University of Montana in 1992. She was a prosecutor in Chinook and Havre, Montana and a criminal defense attorney in Libby, Superior and Missoula, Montana. She worked in the Montana Attorney General’s office from 2001 to 2010 prosecuting felony cases and managing the Attorney General’s Child Protection Unit. The Judge has served Missoula Municipal Court since November 2011.

NewPhotoJudgeJenks

Important News Regarding House Bill 217

Effective immediately, any defendant whose Driver's License is suspended by Missoula Municipal Court for failure to pay fines, fees or restitution may petition the court to have their privilege to drive reinstated with no fee owing to the Department of Motor Vehicles. Please use the form linked here: