With a population of a little over 20,000 people, Prairie Village is one of the smaller cities in Johnson County, Kansas. It is surrounded by Kansas City to the east, Overland Park to the west, Fairway and Mission Hills to the north and Leawood to the south. In addition to having a small population, Prairie Village is also small geographically (roughly six square miles in size) and extends east to west from State Line Road to Lamar and north to south from 63rd street to 95th street. Overall, Prairie Village is regarded as a delightful place to live and raise a family.
Two criteria must be met for the Prairie Village Municipal Court to hear a case: (1) the alleged violation must have occurred inside the city limits of Prairie Village; and (2) the violation charged is a city ordinance violation. Examples of frequently charged city ordinance violations include DUI, driving on a suspended license, marijuana possession, trespass, theft, minor in possession, drug paraphernalia, pet violations and a few other “code” violations. Generally, code violations deal with the maintenance and upkeep of Prairie Village homes and businesses.
Since Prairie Village is located close to the plaza and Waldo, it is not uncommon to see people pulled over on 75th street heading home after drinking at a nearby bar. In fact, Prairie Village is known for its traffic and DUI enforcement and gives out a disproportionate amount of DUI charges compared to other cities of its size.
Courthouse: Located in the same complex as Shawnee Mission East High School and Santa Fe Trail Park off of 77th and Mission Road, Prairie Village’s Municipal Court is part of the Prairie Village/Mission Hills Municipal Complex. This complex contains both the Prairie Village City Hall and the Prairie Village Police Department. The courthouse contains one large courtroom that also doubles as the city council chambers, a bathroom area and a small office with around six court clerks. Additionally, the courtroom is directly linked to various detention facilities in Johnson County by a multimedia set up. This multimedia set up is used so defendants can be seen on video without actually having to be brought the courthouse.
The address of the Prairie Village Municipal Court is: 7700 Mission Road Prairie Village, KS 66208
Judge: Two primary judges hear cases in the Prairie Village Municipal Court. If the two primary judges are unavailable, several pro-tem judges can fill in. The court does not have the ability to have cases heard in front of a jury so only the judge hears the cases.
The Judges in Prairie Village are: Mary Clark and Karen Torline
Prosecutor: The city prosecutor’s office is the division of the Prairie Village City Attorney’s office that prosecutes crimes and is located in the same building as the courthouse. Furthermore, the city prosecutor is only able to talk about court matters while court is in session. It is the responsibility of the city prosecutor’s office to make charging decisions and prosecute alleged criminal acts. If the case is appealed, the city prosecutor follows the case to District Court.
The City Prosecutor in Prairie Village is: Ashley Repp
Court Clerk: The court clerk’s office handles all of the administrative tasks of the Prairie Village Municipal Court and is located directly south of the courtroom. Overall, the court clerk’s office makes up a small part of the courthouse. Around 4-6 employees work in the court clerk’s office and they keep the court’s schedule, accept monies on behalf of the court and perform other essential functions for the court.
The Court Clerk in Prairie Village is: Joyce Mundy
Court Security: Kansas courts require court security and Prairie Village always has a bailiff and at least one Prairie Village police officer when court is in session. In addition to regulating the public while they are in court, court security checks patrons into the computer when they arrive, make sure patrons get a chance to talk to the prosecutor and maintain order in the court when the judge is not present.
Appealing from the Prairie Village Municipal Court: Prairie Village Municipal Court does not have the ability to provide a defendant with all the protections afforded by the United State’s Constitution because they are a court of limited jurisdiction. So, the Prairie Village Municipal Court’s final decision is generally not the final word on any given case. Therefore, the defendant may appeal if he or she is not happy with the decision of the municipal court. Moreover, the defendant must appeal in a timely manner, which is defined as within 14 days of sentencing in a municipal court. The first step in the appeal process is filing a notice of appeal with the municipal court and paying an appeal bond.
Obtaining Discovery on a Prairie Village Case: Every individual charged with a law violation in Prairie Village is allowed to conduct discovery. Brady v. Maryland outlines the constitutional protections one is entitled to when it comes to discovery. According to Brady, an individual is entitled to view all evidence that the city intends to use against them at trial and all the evidence the city has or can reasonably obtain that tends to prove the individual did not commit the offense. In short, an individual can see all of the city’s evidence. In Prairie Village, a defendant must follow a specific process to obtain discovery. This process includes going to the police station located south of the courthouse to ask for videos and going to the court clerk’s office for police reports. When requesting a video, the defendant must bring a blank DVD and submit it with the request. If a blank DVD is not provided, the police will not give the video. Additionally, producing the evidence includes a small fee.
Prairie Village Specific Information: Every court has their own rules and processes set in place with regards to different aspects of the court and Prairie Village is no different. For example, Prairie Village has authorized certain providers for drug and alcohol evaluations. Additionally, Prairie Village has a specific provider they use for house arrest and a specific agency they use for CWIP programs.