Court: TOWN OF HANOVER
Address: 68 Hanover St., Silver Creek, NY 14136
Phone: 716 934-4770
Fax: 716 934-2850
Hours: Office Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 9a.m. – 4 p.m.; Wednesday 9 a.m. – 2p.m. Town Court is held every Monday at 10 a.m. and every Thursday at 7 p.m.
Statewide Ranking Revenue 2012: 257
Prosecutor: All matters are prosecuted by the Chautauqua County District Attorney’s Office.
Hanover is located on the shore of Lake Erie in Northern Chautauqua County. It is home to one of the nicest beaches on that shoreline, which attracts cottagers and college kids alike.
Justice Courts in General:
While most Americans will never be charged with a Crime, a greater percentage will receive a traffic ticket at some point during their lives. For most of us, that means that a Justice Court will be our only interaction with the Criminal Justice or Court System.
Justice Courts hear trials in Misdemeanors, Violations and Infractions. The majority of these cases involve “Uniform Traffic Tickets” which charge motorists with an infraction of the Vehicle and Traffic Law of New York State, such as speeding, under VTL §1180. Every Justice Court follows its own policies and procedures, guided by the Criminal Procedure Law as well as other substantive laws. Most Towns and Villages have their own Justice Court with at least one presiding judge or justice. Most Courts have two judges and a support staff of Court Clerks responsible for the day to day operation of the Court. Some Courts in rural communities are operated part time, with Court held once or twice a month, but Courts with higher caseloads typically hold court 3 to 5 times a week. The date and time of Court is controlled by the Judge presiding in the Court.
Any time a person is charged with an offense by the police, the charges are filed with the Court for the Town of Village in which the offense occurred. After they are filed, an Attorney for the Government, called a Prosecutor, will take responsibility for the case. The District Attorney of the County is responsible for prosecuting crimes in each Justice Court. An Assistant District Attorney is assigned by the District Attorney to handle matters in a particular justice court. In some counties, the District Attorney will also handle Vehicle and Traffic Infractions. In other counties, the Town of Village Board will appoint a Prosecutor to handle them.
When a person is charged with an offense, they become a “defendant” in the case. A defendant is entitled to have an attorney as well. If a defendant cannot afford an attorney, the Court may appoint one at no cost if the charges filed could result in sentence of jail.
While every defendant charged with an offense, including traffic tickets, is entitled to a trial, the majority of cases are resolved prior to trial through “plea bargaining”. The Prosecutor and the defendant (or his attorney) will negotiate a plea bargain and present their agreement to the Court. The Judge may accept or deny any plea bargain proposed by the parties, but judges do not get involved in the negotiating process.
Prosecutors will review each case prior to making a plea offer to the defendant. That review will include discussions with the officers and witnesses involved in the case as well as a review of a defendant’s history. In Vehicle and Traffic Infractions, a Prosecutor will generally limit his review to the Ticket, Supporting Deposition, and the defendant’s driving history. In criminal cases, that review may be more substantial, and the defendant’s criminal history will be reviewed to determine whether the defendant has a history of convictions. Prosecutors will typically be less lenient to defendants with a history of offenses.