Municipal Court Program

Community Advocates Milwaukee Wisconsin

What Happens in Municipal Court?

Milwaukee Municipal Courts are of limited jurisdiction and deal exclusively with cases involving city ordinance violations.

Offenses brought before the Milwaukee Municipal Courts are those that occur within the limits of the City of Milwaukee.  In such cases, defendants do not have the right to a publicly funded lawyer. 

A sentence to pay monetary forfeitures to the City is the primary sentence imposed on a guilty defendant.

In addition, a municipal judge may require a defendant's participation in one of several community service or educational programs.

Non-payment of fines, or failure to participate in required community service or recommended treatment programs, may result in incarceration at the Community Correctional Center South (House of Correction) or the Milwaukee County Criminal Justice Facility.

Alternatives to Incarceration

The Justice 2000 Court Alternative Services Program advocates for the use of less costly and more effective alternatives to incarceration for defendants convicted of municipal ordinance violations in the City of Milwaukee. Alternatives may include mental health treatment, substance abuse treatment, or community service work placements.

How Does the Court Alternatives Program Help?

With five full-time Case Managers, the program does the following things:

• Determines program eligibility by completing a face-to-face interview  to identify adult defendants who have been cited for City of Milwaukee ordinance violations and are at risk of incarceration due to indigence, mental health, and/or addiction issues

• Provides financial evaluations to the court to identify individuals who meet the statutory definitions related to indigence

• Verifies custody and treatment history and provides that information to Municipal Court Commissioners for the purpose of time-served credit
• Facilitates community service referrals to local nonprofit organizations

• Establishes linkages to essential services (mental health treatment, addiction treatment, housing, job placement and employment services, driver’s license recovery) provided by community-based programs

• Provides case management and monitoring services to an average daily caseload of 150 defendants

• Monitors participation in mental health treatment, addiction treatment, and community service

• Assures continuity of care through ongoing communication with identified service providers

• Reports client status, progress, or non-compliance with alternative dispositions to the courts

• Provides services directly at the Milwaukee Municipal Court, program offices, and community events (i.e. Vets Stand Down, Project Homeless Connect, Resource Fairs)

Court Alternative Services Program Contact Information

Linda Hitz (Service Coordinator): (414) 286-8733 or via this e-mail
Sue Eckhart (Program Director): (414) 286-8732 or via this e-mail

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