Trial to Court and Jury Trial Information
This information is intended to give a general overview of trial procedures for those persons who represent themselves in the Thornton Municipal Court. It is not intended to provide rules of evidence or address situations that may arise during trial. It is intended to assist in the orderly presentation and disposition of trial matters to the Court. The Presenting Evidence in Court brochure is a useful tool when representing yourself in a trial.
If you choose to represent yourself in your trial, you are giving up your right to be represented by a lawyer. You must comply with the Colorado Rules of Evidence and the Rules of Criminal Procedure. You may not appeal on the ground that a lawyer did not represent you.
A special note for juvenile defendants: Your parent/guardian may sit with you and assist you in presenting your case by suggesting questions for you to ask or by taking notes during the proceeding for you to refer to. However, your parent/guardian may not act as your lawyer and may not ask questions for you. You must present your own case.
PRIOR TO TRIAL
It is highly recommended that you obtain a copy of the ordinance with which you are charged. This information may be obtained from the City Clerk's office.
A subpoena is a written command to a person to appear and give testimony. If your case is scheduled for trial and you have witnesses you want to appear, you may request a subpoena from the Court. You will be responsible for having them served. If requested by the defendant, the Court Specialist will issue subpoenas to ensure the production of evidence on behalf of the defendant, but the service of the subpoena upon a defense witness is the sole responsibility of the defendant. Subpoenas should be secured by the defendant very soon after the trial date is set by the Court.
TRIAL TO COURT
A Trial to Court is a trial that is held before a judge. The Court calls the case and the parties to the trial are asked if they are ready for trial. If all parties are ready for trial, the trial begins with opening statements. If the parties are not ready for trial, they must explain to the judge why they are not ready or what action is being requested prior to trial on which the judge must make a ruling.
TRIAL TO JURY
To request a jury trial, you must complete the Jury Demand form, which is available from a Court Specialist and post a $25 jury deposit within 21 days of the Not Guilty plea. If you cannot afford the jury deposit you can fill out a financial affidavit, if eligible the deposit fee may be waived. The Jury Demand asks for the number of jurors requested (between 3-6). If both the jury demand and fee are not posted within the 21-day time frame, you will only be eligible for a trial to court.
The Thornton Municipal Court has implemented the appropriate Jury Trial Protocol necessary for all jurors, attorneys, witnesses, court staff and other necessary participants.
All trials are viewable to the public. Please contact the Court at 720-977-5400 during business hours to receive information on how to observe.
JURY SERVICE VIDEO
Please view the Jury Service Video prior to serving as a juror for the Thornton Municipal Court.
MUNICIPAL COURT APPEALS
An appeal is a request for a higher court to review the ruling of a lower court. All Appeals from Thornton Municipal Court go before the District Court of the 17th Judicial District and are based solely on the record made in the Municipal Court. A new trial is not conducted. All appeals are in accordance with the Colorado Rules of Criminal Procedure, Rule 37.