People who receive traffic or parking tickets in Washington County have a third option for getting them resolved: the Court Hearing Office.
“Most people think their only options for resolving a ticket are to pay it or to go to court,” said Washington County Court Administrator Deb Lepper. “But the Court Hearing Office offers a third, less stressful, way to discuss your citation.”
Washington County court hearing officers have the authority to work with most traffic offenses and parking tickets. They can resolve disputes and suspensions, negotiate payment plans and extensions, reduce the severity of the punishment, and even offer options to keep the ticket off your driving record.
“Lots of times, people just don’t know all of the options available to them,” said Washington County Court Hearing Officer Kari Rick. “They’re appreciative that we can walk them through the process and help them resolve the ticket in an informal way.”
Meetings with court hearing officers are done remotely, from a cell phone or computer. They’re also relatively short, alleviating the need for most people to take time off of work.
The Court Hearing Office doesn’t only provide benefits to people with tickets. It also frees up the court calendar so that judges can handle more serious cases. However, meeting with a hearing officer doesn’t prevent people from going to court if they so choose. Those who don’t like the outcome from the Court Hearing Office have the option to have their case heard by a judge.
“We really do want to settle cases in the Court Hearing Office,” Lepper said. “But people absolutely retain the right to go to court if they don’t like the outcome from our office.”
To schedule an appointment to have the Washington County Court Hearing Office resolve your ticket, call 651-281-3219 or 800-657-3611 and press 2 at the prompt or send an email to: 10thWashingtonHearingOffice@courts.state.mn.us