With a population of over 60,000 residents, Shawnee is a city located in Johnson County and is one of the larger cities in the Kansas City Metro area. Shawnee is bordered by Merriam and Overland Park to the east, Lenexa to the south, Desoto to the west and Kansas City, Lake Quivira and Edwardsville to the north. Additionally, Shawnee reaches as far south as 79th street and as far north as 47th street. Shawnee includes a mixture of moderate density city housing and some wooded and larger property homes farther west.
Two criteria must be met for the Shawnee Municipal Court to hear a case: (1) the alleged violation must have occurred inside the city limits of Shawnee; 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 of alcohol and a few other “code” violations. Generally, code violations deal with the maintenance and upkeep of Shawnee residents’ homes and businesses.
Since Shawnee includes parts of both Shawnee Mission Parkway and Johnson drive, traffic enforcement is well known in the area. The rolling hills in west Shawnee on Johnson Drive lead to a large number of speeding violations. Additionally, Shawnee has a higher than average amount of shoplifting charges in the municipal court because of several big box retail stores in the area. Furthermore, Shawnee has a higher amount of marijuana charges than other Johnson County cities because Shawnee is close to high crime areas such as Wyandotte County.
Courthouse: Located on the northeast corner of interstate 435 and Johnson Drive, Shawnee Municipal Court is located in the same building as the Shawnee Police Headquarters and shares a parking lot with the Shawnee Fire Station. Included in the courthouse is one courtroom with seating for over 100 people, a court clerk’s office south of the courtroom, several attorney conference rooms, a bailiff’s room inside the courtroom with a fingerprinting machine, a prosecutor’s office and a bathroom area. In addition to being equipped with multimedia equipment and several video screens to view evidence, the courthouse has a direct link to various detention facilities in Johnson County. The direct link is used so defendants can be seen on video without actually having to be brought the courthouse.
The address of the Shawnee Municipal Court is: 5860 Renner Rd. Shawnee, KS 66217
Judge: One primary judge hears the cases in Shawnee Municipal Court. If the judge is unavailable (which is rare), Shawnee has a couple pro-tem judges to hear cases. The court does not have the ability to have cases heard in front of a jury so only the judge hears the cases.
The Judge in Shawnee is: Judge Karen Torline
Prosecutor: The city prosecutor’s office is the division of the Shawnee City Attorney’s office that prosecutes crimes and is located in the Shawnee City Hall. 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 Prosecutors in Shawnee are: Deb Vermillion and Jenny Smith
Court Clerk: The court clerk’s office handles all of the administrative tasks of the Shawnee Municipal Court and occupies a large part of the courthouse. Around six assistant court clerks 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 Administrator in Shawnee is: Bettina Jamerson
Court Security: Kansas courts require court security and Shawnee puts much emphasis on court security and always has a bailiff present when court is in session. In addition to regulating the public while they are in court, court security transport defendants, take fingerprints if the court ordered and monitor court patrons for warrants and maintain order in the court when a judge is not present.
Appealing from the Shawnee Municipal Court: Shawnee 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 Shawnee 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 Shawnee Case: Every individual charged with a law violation in Shawnee 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 Shawnee, a defendant must follow a specific process to obtain discovery. This process includes going to the police station located in the Shawnee Municipal Complex and filling out a form with the police records unit. Producing the evidence includes a small fee.
Shawnee Specific Information: Every court has their own rules and processes set in place with regards to different aspects of the court and Shawnee is no different. For example, Shawnee has authorized certain providers for drug and alcohol evaluations. Additionally, Shawnee has a specific provider they use for house arrest and a specific agency they use for classes, CWIP programs and driving school. Specific information about the Shawnee Municipal Court is found below.