City court system hits its second year
Franklin County Times
Maybe it's a birthday. Or an anniversary.
In any case, the Russellville City Court System will hold its 25th month of municipal court proceedings this month.
According to Court Clerk LaDonna Hitt, most cases are traffic offenses, but the court does hold trial for misdemeanor offenses.
The court usually meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays of the second week of each month, and court has case reviews quarterly.
"The reviews are to make sure the defendants have done everything required by the court, like paying fines or attending classes," Hitt said.
The court sees an estimated 300 new cases each month.
All felonies and any misdemeanor charges that go with them are transferred to the Circuit Court.
Russellville's City Court Judge is Chad Coker and the City Attorney is Jeff Bowling.
"The Judge is a regular judge, and he can make orders and have them enforced just like a district or circuit judge," Hitt said.
While the city court system recently turned two years old, Russellville's court has roots that go deeper.
"There was a City Court here a long time ago, and it was abolished for one reason or another," Hitt said. "The court system was re-established in Russellville in January 2006 by the city council."
Court costs are added to fines but the state gets most of the money. Hitt said the city retains less than half of the defendant's payment.
"The state gets 40 to 50 percent of collected court costs," Hitt said. "We get to keep the fine portion of the payment and a small portion of the court cost."
For example, if you get a speeding ticket and the fine is $123, the state gets approximately $80 of the fine, leaving the city with less than $50.
The money taken in by the state is divided into different funds, such as the child restraint fund that purchases infant seats for families that cannot afford to buy them.