555 Liberty Street SE Room 215
Salem OR 97301
Revised Salem Municipal Trial Court Rules take effect January 1, 2013.
The Court is the Judicial Branch of Municipal Government. The Municipal Court adjudicates misdemeanor, violation and parking cases arising from municipal ordinances, state statutes and miscellaneous matters as provided by ordinance.
Presiding Judge: Jane Aiken
Court Administrator: Dawn Thompson
Access To Justice For Displaced Defendants
The Salem Municipal Court is interested in reducing costs to meet budgetary constraints while also improving outcomes in misdemeanor cases. The court has made improvements over time to reduce long lines and wait time in court however, exhaustive changes are needed in the area of caseflow to better utilize attorney, court staff, and judicial time. Early and continuous management of court cases will also produce better outcomes for litigants.
The purpose of this research project is to identify tools to improve the management and outcomes of misdemeanor cases and specifically look at issues surrounding the volume of quality of life cases, to improve access to court services for these displaced defendants. A review of existing research and input from stakeholders identified the need to consider the use of differentiated case management (DCM) to triage cases and consideration of problem-solving court techniques to specifically address the large volume of quality of life cases.
Approximately 48% of misdemeanors filed with the court are classified as quality of life crimes, with significant recidivism for offenders. The survey findings suggest significant interest among justice partners in favor of a court advocacy program for the quality of life offenders. A court advocacy program would help offenders connect with local social services. The remaining 52% of misdemeanors are primarily traffic crimes. The court would also benefit from the assistance of a criminal caseflow committee providing a forum for justice system partners to offer feedback and input on proposed changes to the court’s management of cases.
Quality of life offenders, and their cases, have common characteristics and demographics. The use of case management tools, connection to social services, and a forum for continuous improvement efforts will result in reduced time to disposition, costs reductions, and better outcomes. These changes will require a collaborative culture shift among court professionals.
Click to read the full report Access To Justice For Displaced Defendants.
Judges Pro Tem:
Nominated by the presiding judge and authorized by city council to serve in case of the judge's illness, temporary absence or where necessary due to number of cases pending in the court:
COURT ARRAIGNMENT: An arraignment is a first appearance in court with a plea being entered by the defendant.
Persons who qualify for the Violations Bureau process will be able to appear beginning ten calendar days after receiving the ticket up to the date of appearance listed on the ticket. The Bureau will operate between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. For more information regarding delegation of authority to Violations Bureau Clerks, see the Violation Bureau Order. For information about fine reductions, see the Fine Reduction Schedule.
Scheduled on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 8:30 a.m. Check-in is at 7:00 a.m. No one will be added to the docket after 8:30 a.m., when the court begins the morning session. A Spanish interpreter is available on Fridays. Persons scheduled to appear before the Municipal Judge are called in the order of check-in, on a first-come first-serve basis.
These are arraignments for out-of-custody defendants' making their first appearance.
Held only on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 8:30 a.m. Check-in is at 7:00 a.m. No one will be added to the docket after 8:30 a.m., when the court begins the morning session. A Spanish interpreter will be available for the Thursday criminal arraignments session.
Arraignment for defendants in-custody and Special arraignments
To be scheduled as needed at the courts discretion.
Scheduled upon a plea of "Not Guilty," or as otherwise ordered by the court. Trials are held on matters ranging from criminal (misdemeanor) charges, to traffic violations and parking citations. Hearings are held on other matters as provided under city ordinance and as scheduled by the court.
VIOLATION TRIALS (Including Parking Tickets):
TRIAL BY AFFIDAVIT
Scheduled upon a plea of "Not Guilty," or as otherwise ordered by the court.
Pursuant to ORS 153.080, the Salem Municipal Court will allow trial by affidavit under the following conditions:
When offender's place of residence is greater than 100 miles from the Salem Municipal Court;
The waiver and affidavit must be received before the summons date on the citation.