One of the architects of Franklin County’s new municipal court system said the latest round of changes were minor and indicated more were on the way.
The county commission in August approved the formation of the court system, which will be used to adjudicate nuisance and traffic issues in unincorporated parts of the county.
County Counselor Mark Vincent told The Missourian this week he is continually working with the county sheriff’s department and others to define precisely what type of cases the new court will address.
The court has yet to hold its first session, but a prosecutor and judge both have been appointed. The court was officially established in September.
Several commission orders pertaining to the court have been passed by commissioners in recent months.
Vincent said the most recent order, which rescinded existing codes and passed a new set, was passed primarily to clear up an oversight on whether the municipal court prosecutor would be allowed to have an outside private law practice.
He said the original draft of the codes were taken mostly from neighboring Jefferson County and not allowing the prosecutors to have an outside private practice was simply an oversight.
The law firm of Purschke, White, Robinson & Becker was contracted to serve as the municipal court prosecutor.
In Jefferson County, where the municipal court handles several millions of dollars in fines and forfeitures a year, Vincent said, there are multiple full-time prosecuting attorneys.
The ordinance establishing the court also was reaffirmed previously at the request of the appointed judge, Walter Murray.
Murray requested the commission reaffirm its order after the date upon which the court was authorized, by state law, to be established.
Commissioners passed the order establishing the court prior to the effective date of that law, Vincent said, but had said it wouldn’t go into effect until after the new law did.
Murray requested the order be reaffirmed nonetheless, Vincent said.
Additional orders may be passed in the future, including adding fines and tickets for tractor-trailer weight and equipment violations and other vehicle registration laws, he said.
“We’re not trying to find new charges,” Vincent said. “These are just state laws that we want to enforce on county roads.”