Cities Team up to Cut Court Costs

By Gary Scott on December 3, 2020 at 5:20pm

Three Scott County municipalities are coming together to take care of ordinance violations. The Winchester City Council last night unanimously approved inter-governmental agreements with the Village of Bluffs and the Village of Manchester to share Winchester’s municipal court system.

Winchester set up their own municipal court system earlier this year to police ordinance violations within their city limits to avoid the citations from going through a lengthy process in the circuit court system. 

Winchester City Attorney John Paul Coonrod says it’s a way for 3 city governments to deal with immediate problems: “They split the cost per radis, so if let’s say there’s 10 cases in the municipal court that day, and Manchester brings 2 cases. [Then] Manchester is responsible for 20% of the total costs of court that day. Although it should be noted, that the central reason why Winchester started its municipal court in the first place was to avoid the cost of taking it to a circuit court which would be easily ten-fold the cost of just pursuing minor ordinance violation cases at the municipal level.” 

Coonrod says that the winter months will likely slow down the municipal court system for Winchester, as most of the issues that have been concluded in the city have dealt with outdoor debris and lawn maintenance violations. He said that the city would be looking at derelict vehicles in yards and on streets in the near future. The next scheduled date for municipal court in Winchester is January 14th.