Everything You Need To Know About Merriam Municipal Court
Merriam is a small city located in northern Johnson County, Kansas. Merriam has a population of a little over 10,000 people and is surrounded by Overland Park to the east and south, Shawnee to the west and Wyandotte County to the north. Merriam is one of the smallest municipalities in the Kansas City metro area. Merriam is less than 4.5 square miles in size, it extends east to west from Lowell to Switzer in some areas and north to south from 47th to 75th Street. Merriam’s largest employers are Shawnee Mission Healthcare, Ikea, GE Money and First Student. Merriam is considered to be a great city to live in and raise a family and has been going through an economic boom since 2015.
Merriam Municipal Court will hear all cases that occur inside the city limits of Merriam in which the violation of the law alleged, is a city ordinance violation. City ordinance violations commonly charged in the municipal court include DUI, Marijuana Possession, driving on a suspended license, drug paraphernalia, theft, trespass, and a small docket of other “code” violations. Code violation cases generally have to do with the maintenance and upkeep of Merriam homes and businesses.
Merriam is well known for its traffic enforcement along its small stretch of interstate 35. Merriam city officers routinely target drivers heading out of downtown late at night as well as drivers heading west bound on Shawnee Mission Parkway coming out of the Plaza. These stops tend to yield a higher concentration of DUI suspects. Merriam gives out a fair amount of DUI charges for the size of city. Merriam also has a large concentration of businesses compared to its residential inhabitants. A significant amount of those businesses are retail stores which generally lead to a higher rate of theft cases in the municipal court than other cities.
Merriam’s municipal court is located between Johnson Drive and Shawnee Mission Parkway off of Ikea Way. The courthouse is essentially half way between Barron BMW and Ikea and in the same parking lot as the Merriam Police Station. The Merriam Municipal Court is housed in the Merriam City Hall building. The municipal court is made up of a large courtroom (which also serves as the Merriam city council chambers) and a small court clerk’s office. Both the court clerk’s office and the courtroom are on the first floor of the Merriam City Hall. The courtroom is equipped with a multimedia set up and a direct link to the various detention facilities in Johnson County so that defendants can be seen on video without having to be brought to the courthouse.
The address of the Merriam Municipal Court is:
9001 W 62nd St.
Merriam, KS 66202
Judge: Merriam has one judge that hears cases in the municipal court. The court has a few “fill in” judges if the regular judge is unavailable. All cases that are brought in the Merriam municipal court are heard by a judge only, the court does not have the ability to have cases heard in front of a jury. The judge in Merriam is part-time and has a full-time law practice when not presiding over cases in Merriam. The judge is only available to handle court business on scheduled court dates.
The Judge in Merriam is:
- John Harvell
Prosecutor: The Merriam City Attorney’s office is ultimately responsible for the prosecution of alleged crimes that take place in Merriam. The city is represented by a city prosecutor in all criminal cases. The Merriam city prosecutor has an office located in the courthouse but is only available to talk about cases during court hours. The Merriam city prosecutor is part-time and has a private law practice in Johnson County. The city prosecutor’s office is given the power to making charging decisions and prosecute alleged criminal acts. The city prosecutor follows the case to district court in the case of an appeal.
The City Prosecutor in Merriam is:
- Christopher Mann
Court Clerk: The administrative tasks of conducting court are entrusted to the court clerk’s office. The court clerk’s office is located directly south of the courtroom in Merriam. The court clerk’s office makes up a small part of the courthouse and houses about 2-3 employees of the court clerk’s office. The court clerk’s office keeps the court’s schedule, accepts payment on behalf of the court and performs many other essential administrative functions for the court.
The Court Administrator in Merriam is:
- Sheila Sherida
Court Security: Court security is required by Kansas law for all municipal courts. Merriam has court security in the form of a bailiff and usually at least one additional Merriam police officer. Both of these individuals are present when court is in session. Court security not only monitors the public while they are at court but also performs many other vital tasks to keep the court running well, including checking patrons in when they come into court, making sure patrons get a chance to talk to the prosecutor and generally maintaining order in the court when a judge is not present.
Appealing from the Merriam Municipal Court
Merriam Municipal Court is a court of limited jurisdiction and does not have the ability to provide a defendant with the protections afforded by some constitutional rights. Therefore, the decision of the Overland Park Municipal Court may not be the final word on any given case. If a defendant is not happy with the decision of the court, the defendant may appeal. The defendant has a right to appeal the municipal court’s decision so long it is done in a timely manner. The defendant may appeal so long as they do so within 14 days of sentencing in a municipal court. To begin this process you must file a notice of appeal with the municipal court and pay an appeal bond.
Obtaining Discovery In A Merriam Case
If you are accused of a crime or an infraction in Merriam you are entitled to conduct discovery in the matter. You are afforded the same constitutional protections as depicted in the Brady vs. Maryland when it comes to discovery. You are allowed to view all evidence that the city intends to use against you at trial as well as all evidence the city has or can reasonably obtain that tends to prove you did not commit the offense as well. In other words, you get to see everything they have. Like most municipal courts Merriam has a specific process that a defendant must go through to receive discovery. You can request discovery by going to the police station located in the same parking lot as the Merriam Municipal Court. When you enter the facility you go up to the first window and ask for discovery request forms or you can mail in the request with prepayment of production costs. There is a small fee to produce the evidence in any given case.
Merriam Specific Information
Every municipal court has their own rules and processes when it comes to certain aspects of their court. Merriam is no different. Merriam has certain providers that they have authorized for drug and alcohol evaluations. Merriam has a specific provider they generally use for house arrest. Similarly, Merriam has a specific CWIP program they allow DUI defendants to partake in. Below you will find Merriam Municipal Court specific information.
Merriam Municipal Court Approved ADSAP Providers
Merriam Municipal Court Approved House Arrest Providers
Merriam Municipal Court Approved Community Weekend Intervention Program Providers
Merriam Municipal Court Approved Theft Prevention Class Providers
Merriam Municipal Court Approved Anger Control Class Providers
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