If you plead not guilty, the court will issue an order scheduling a pretrial conference between you and the City Attorney. The City Attorney represents the City of Watertown and prosecutes cases that go to trial before the Municipal Court. The City Attorney’s address is 106 Jones Street - Room 2051, Watertown, WI 53094 (Tele: 920-206-4201).
The purpose of the pretrial conference procedure is to explore the possibilities of resolving your case without going to trial. You have the right to maintain your not guilty plea and not accept any offer the City Attorney might make, but you must participate in the procedure.
A copy of your citation will be forwarded to the City Attorney’s office. The City Attorney also has access to police reports that were filed in your case. You have the right to ask the City Attorney for a copy of any reports filed in your case. You should bring any refusal to the attention of the Court.
It is likely that the City Attorney’s office will mail a plea or settlement offer proposing to resolve your citation(s) without an actual conference and without going to trial. The proposed agreement may offer to reduce the forfeiture, amend charge(s) or dismiss citation(s) in exchange for a no contest or guilty plea to other citations. The City Attorney has enormous discretion in this regard. If you accept the proposed agreement, the case will resolve without the need to appear at the pretrial conference or trial so long as the Court approves the settlement. The Court rarely disapproves a settlement.
In most instances, the offer made by the City Attorney by mail before the pre-trial conference will represent the best offer the City will be willing to make. Nevertheless, you may still attend the scheduled pre-trial conference. The pretrial conference is an opportunity to attempt to negotiate further, and, discuss disagreements about what happened, factually, or the effect of the law on your case’s specific facts. The pretrial conference is between you and the City Attorney. Bear in mind that the City Attorney represents the city, not you.
If you and the City Attorney achieve a settlement as a result of the pretrial conference, the meeting will conclude with both parties signing a stipulated disposition form that describes the agreement reached. If no agreement is reached, the Municipal Court Clerk will be notified to set the citation for trial.