Columbia Municipal Court extends hours and adds new services

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Columbia – The Columbia Municipal Court is adding new services for users.

Beginning Mar. 1, the court will extend its hours to 7:30am to 5:30pm, from its current hours of 8am to 5pm. Also beginning Mar. 1, the court will also add another docket with an available language interpreter, increasing its frequency to twice a month. The court will also start offering nighttime arraignments every first and third Wednesday of each month beginning Apr. 5. 

Columbia Municipal Court Judge Cavanaugh Noce, who was sworn in to the position in January, made the changes. 

"My hope is that if you go to school or work from 8 to 5pm, obviously that you'll be able to go in a little bit earlier or a little bit afterwards that to take care of some business you might have with the court or find out about things," Noce said.

He also said the addition of nighttime arraignments allows people to avoid choosing between court and work.

"If we have nighttime arraignments, then there won't be this tough choice of, 'do I miss school or go to court' or 'do I miss work or go to court,'" Noce said.

Noce said he hopes the changes in hours and the addition of a new interpreter will be cost neutral because the court's staff is flexing their hours to accommodate the new schedule. The addition of nighttime arraignments will create a slight increase in costs for the court because hourly staffers receive an extra 65 cents per hour after 6pm.

The Columbia Municipal Court currently handles all cases that involve city ordinances including traffic citations, parking tickets and other non-felony infractions.