Chelsea establishes municipal court

CHELSEA- The City of Chelsea passed two ordinances to adopt state offenses and traffic violations and to officially establish the Chelsea Municipal Court at a regularly scheduled council meeting on Tuesday, April 4.

“These are just steps two and three of 100. The biggest change is that, if a citizen gets a traffic citation or is charged with a misdemeanor or a city ordinance violation, they will be given a court date to come before the Chelsea Municipal Court. Previously, they would have gone to the Shelby County Circuit Court,” Mayor Tony Picklesimer said.

Now that the ordinances have passed, Picklesimer said the city needs to appoint a judge, a prosecutor attorney, a public defender attorney, a magistrate and a court clerk. The city also plans to hire a bailiff. While the hiring process has yet to start, Picklesimer said he has been interviewing candidates for several months.

To accommodate the Chelsea Municipal Court, the city council chamber will undergo some minor remodeling. Picklesimer said the remodeling process will happen in conjunction with the relocation of the Chelsea Public Library.

Through the establishment of a municipal court, Picklesimer said the city will become more independent.

“We will now be holding court ourselves over violations in our city,” Picklesimer said.

Both ordinances were proposed at the previous city council meeting on Tuesday, March 21. While the city council could have made a motion to suspend the rules and pass the ordinances then, Picklesimer said it was better that they took a few weeks before making the final decision.

“I see the value of taking a couple of weeks to digest some things and raise some questions,” Picklesimer said.

While David Ingram was the only city council member not present when the ordinances were passed, he voiced his full support of the municipal court at the council’s work session prior to the city council meeting.