Mayor’s Court Frequently Asked Questions

The Mayor’s Court Clerk of Courts Office can help you with the following information:

  • Understanding how the court works
  • Help you reschedule court dates
  • Help direct you to other agencies that can provide further assistance, if needed (ex. Bureau of Motor Vehicles)
  • Directions to the court
  • Information about your case
  • Answer questions about monies owed to the court
  • Record Sealing

The Mayor’s Court Clerk of Courts Office Cannot:

  • Give you legal advice
  • Fill out forms for you
  • Tell you what you should say or write
  • Tell you how you should plead your case
  • Tell you how the Magistrate may rule in your particular case

What forms of payment are accepted?

The Reading Mayor’s Court accepts the following as forms of payment: Cash (exact change), Money Order, Personal Check that is drawn on a local bank, Visa, and Master Card.  Credit card payments are accepted over the telephone at no additional charge.  Please DO NOT mail cash.  Checks should be made out to the City of Reading.

What is a “Payout” ?

A payout is a minor misdemeanor that carries a fine that can be paid without making a court appearance. The fine is paid to the Violations Bureau on or before your assigned court date at 1:00 p.m.. Your citation must accompany the payment.   Your citation must also be signed on the back of the citation.  If a fine is not paid before your assigned court date, the fine will double.  Payouts will not be accepted after 1:00 p.m. on your assigned court date.  If you choose to make a court appearance, the payout amount no longer applies.  The Magistrate will determine the fine amount and court costs will be added to that amount.

I am not able to appear in Court on the date I have been scheduled, what can I do?

You may obtain one continuance by signing a Time Waiver and your case will be continued until the next court date. Continuances are not given after 1:00 p.m. on the day of court.   Please contact Michele Naish, Court Clerk, at  513-733-5768  for a continuance or further information.

My citation is a payout, but I won’t have the money to pay by the court date, what can I do?

You may obtain one continuance by signing a Time Waiver and your case will be continued until the next court date. Continuances are not given after 1:00 p.m.  on the day of court.  Please contact Michele Naish, Court Clerk, at 513-733-5768 for a continuance or further information.

When I appear in Court, I may not have enough money to pay the fine and court costs in full, what can I do?

You may be granted extra time to pay your fines and court costs by asking the Magistrate for more than one continuance.  The City of Reading Mayor’s Court does not grant  “Stays to Pay” a fine.   Failure to appear on the continuance date  can result in a warrant for your arrest and/or the suspension of your driving privileges and a block against your registration.

 I missed my Court date, what can I do?

If you fail to appear on your assigned court date a bench warrant will be issued for your arrest.   If you have missed two court dates, a warrant will be issued for your arrest and a $50.00 penalty will be assessed.  After thirty days a license forfeiture will be placed on your driving record resulting in a suspension against your driving privileges.  Please contact Michele Naish, Court Clerk, at 513-733-5768 for more information on a specific case.

Will I get points on my license?

Most moving violations carry 2 points, other violations such as Reckless Operation or Driving Under Suspension can carry 4 or 6 points. An OVI carries 6 points. These points are reported to the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

I did not have my proof of insurance with me at the time of the citation, what can I do?

If you did not have your proof of insurance with you on the date of the citation, proof must be shown to the Clerk of Courts either when paying the citation or appearing in Court. Your insurance must be in effect at the time of your citation and must be for the vehicle in question.  You may mail a copy of your insurance card with your citation and payment or you may fax your proof of insurance with in 24 hours of payment to 513-733-5226, ATTN: Michele Naish, or email it to the court:    mnaish@readingpolice.org

I did not have valid insurance in effect at the time of the citation, what happens now?

The court must report that there was no insurance in effect at the time of the citation to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV). The BMV will place a suspension against your driver’s license for a period of 90 days to 2 years depending on prior offenses for driving without insurance.  Please visit the BMV website HERE for further information or contact Michele Naish, Court Clerk at 513-733-5768.

What degrees of offenses can the City of Reading Mayor’s Court hear?

  • Minor Misdemeanor (MM)- No jail time- maximum fine of $150 + costs
  • Fourth degree Misdemeanor (M4) – Jail time of up to 30 days – maximum fine of $250 + costs
  • Third degree Misdemeanor (M3) – Jail time of up to 60 days – maximum fine of $500 + costs
  • Second degree Misdemeanor (M2) – Jail time of up to 90 days – maximum fine of $750 + costs
  • First degree Misdemeanor (M1) – Jail time of up to 180 days – maximum fine of $1000 + costs

What happens when I appear in Mayor’s Court?

As a defendant, you are entitled to be informed of the nature of the charge. If you do not understand the charge, please say so when your case is called. After being informed of the charge, you will be asked to plead either guilty, not guilty, or no contest.

If you plead guilty or no contest a short statement of the facts will be made to the court. If you do not dispute the essential elements of the offense, then the Magistrate will enter a finding. You may then tell the Magistrate any facts which you feel may explain the circumstances or lessen the sentence. If a fine and/or court costs are imposed you are expected to pay the fine and/or court costs in court that day.

What do the different pleas mean?

A plea of guilty is an admission that you have committed the offense of which you have been charged. If you plead guilty, a statement will be given on behalf of the City concerning the events constituting the charge. You will then be found guilty. If you choose, you will then be permitted to make a statement on your own behalf. You can choose not to make any statement.

A plea of no contest is not an admission of guilt, but it is an admission of the facts alleged in the complaint or traffic citation as well as other facts presented by the prosecution at the time of the plea. You are leaving it up to the Court to decide your guilt or innocence based on those facts. You should realize that in almost every instance a plea of no contest will result in a guilty finding.

A plea of not guilty requires a trial. At the trial, the City must prove each element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. Please do not hesitate to plead not guilty if you feel you are innocent of the charge, or if you dispute the facts stated in the complaint or traffic citation. If you plead not guilty, your case will be set for trial one to threes weeks from your initial court appearance.

What if I want a trial by jury?

If you are charged with an offense that carries a possible fine of more than $150 or that carries the possibility of jail time, you have the right to a jury trial. All jury trials take place in the Hamilton County Municipal Court. The services of an attorney are highly recommended if you wish to present your defense to a jury. Accordingly, if you wish to request a jury trial, you should request a continuance and seek legal assistance immediately. If you do not know whether you are entitled to a jury trial, do not hesitate to ask the Court before you enter a plea to the charge.

Payout Schedule

The City of Reading Mayor’s Court Payout Schedule for certain violations may be found HERE.

If you do not see your violation listed on the payout sheet you will  need to contact the court for further assistance.

Please contact Michele Naish, Court Clerk of Courts for further assistance at 513-733-5768 or email : mnaish@readingpolice.org