Village Court Rules



Rule 1.Title

Rule 2. Jurisdiction

Rule 3. Initiation of Proceedings

Rule 4.Form of Complaint

Rule 5.Informing Defendant

Rule 6.Pleas

Rule 7.Guilty Pleas

Rule 8.Voluntariness of Guilty Plea

Rule 9.Factual Basis for Guilty Plea

Rule 10.Sentence for Plea of Guilty

Rule 11.Plea of Not Guilty – Trial

Rule 12.Subpoena

Rule 13.Service of Subpoena

Rule 14.Sentence

Rule 15.Practice When Procedure Not Specified


RULE 1. TITLE. These rules shall be known as the Village Court Rules and shall be cited as ___________VCR. These rules supplement the statutory provisions dealing with proceedings before the Village Courts.

RULE 2. JURISDICTION. Except for retrials before the District Court, the Village Courts shall have exclusive jurisdiction to impose penalties for violations of village regulations.

RULE 3. INITIATION OF PROCEEDINGS. Proceedings in the Village Court are initiated when a pulenu’u issues a village complaint and summons and forwards the same to the clerk of courts.

RULE 4. FORM OF COMPLAINT. Every complaint must be in writing and signed by the pulenu’u. It must state the date of issuance and the village where issued and the name and village of the accused. It must state that if the accused does not appear at the stated time and place before the judge of the Village Court an application may be made for the issuance of a bench warrant for his arrest.

RULE 5. INFORMING DEFENDANT. When the accused appears for arraignment before the Village Court, in addition to the rights of an accused enumerated in 46.1804 ASCA, the court must inform the accused:

(1) of the charge placed against him and the maximum possible fine that may be imposed upon conviction;

(2) of his right to remain silent, that anything he will be used against him, and that if he has made a statement he has the right not to say anything further;

(3) that he will not be questioned by any person regarding the offense unless he consents and that he has the right to consult with an attorney before being questioned further;

(4) that if at any time during any questioning regarding any offense he desires to consult with an attorney or desires the questioning to be stopped, it will be stopped; and

(5) of the general nature of the further proceedings to be taken in the case.

RULE 6. PLEAS. A defendant at the arraignment may plead guilty, not guilty or nolo contendere. If a defendant refuses to plead or if the court refuses to accept a plea of guilty, the court must enter a plea of not guilty.

RULE 7. GUILTY PLEAS. The court shall not accept a plea of guilty without first addressing the defendant personally in open court and determining that he understands the following:

(1) the nature of the charge to which the plea is offered;

(2) the maximum penalty provided by village regulations which may be imposed for the offense to which the plea is offered;

(3) that he has the right to plead not guilty; and

(4) that by pleading guilty he waives the right to a trial.

RULE 8. VOLUNTARINESS OF GUILTY PLEA. The court must not accept a plea of guilty without first addressing the defendant personally in open court and determining that the plea is voluntary and not the result of force or threats.

RULE 9. FACTUAL BASIS FOR GUILTY PLEA. The court must not accept a guilty plea without first making an inquiry to determine that there is a factual basis for the plea.

RULE 10. SENTENCE FOR PLEA OF GUILTY. If an accused pleads guilty on arraignment before the Village Court, the court may find the accused guilty and pronounce sentence at that time.

RULE 11. PLEA OF NOT GUILTY – TRIAL. If the accused pleads not guilty, the trial may proceed immediately if seven days have elapsed since the accused was served with a copy of the complaint. If 7 days have not elapsed, then the court shall continue the case for trial until 7 days after the service of the complaint on the accused.

RULE 12. SUBPOENA. Upon application by the pulenu’u or the accused, the clerk of courts shall issue a subpoena under seal of the court. The subpoena shall command each person to whom it is directed to attend the Village Court and give testimony at the time and place specified therein.

RULE 13. SERVICE OF SUBPOENA. A subpoena may be served by any law enforcement officer or by any other person who is not a defendant and who is not less that 18 years of age. Service or a subpoena must be made by delivering a copy thereof to the person named.

RULE 14. SENTENCE. When there is an adjudication of guilt, sentence must be imposed without unreasonable delay. Before imposing sentence, the court must afford the defendant a fair opportunity to be heard on the issue of his sentence.

RULE 15. PRACTICE WHEN PROCEDURE NOT SPECIFIED. In any situation not provided for by rule or statute, the Village Court should proceed in a manner that best serves justice.