• Report: #949069

Complaint Review: Germantown Municipal Court

  • Submitted: Mon, October 01, 2012
  • Updated: Fri, November 16, 2012

  • Reported By: MLY88 — Atlanta Georgia United States of America
Germantown Municipal Court
1930 S. Germantown Road Germantown, Tennessee United States of America

Germantown Municipal Court City of Germantown: Municipal Court Heavy handed Court which results to Threats/Violates the "due process" of individuals; Bigoted Germantown, Tennessee

*Consumer Comment: Warning To All Minorities: Germantown Ct is

*General Comment: Lawyers charge much more for tickets in Germantown than those in Memphis.. Not sure why.

*Consumer Comment: I Second the Original Post; Germantown Municipal Court is too tough; Not flexible

*Consumer Comment: I Agree- Germantown Municipal Court is so Tough it is a Cash Cow for lawyers

*Author of original report: Actually you are Wrong. "ALL" courts don't work this way. Even Memphis Clerk stated Germantown was Very Different

*Author of original report: Courts Are Suppose to be "Understanding", at least that's what a Judge Once told me

*Consumer Comment: Not exactly.

*Consumer Comment: IF what you said is true.......

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Germantown Municipal Court, located in Germantown, TN, is a seemingly heavy handed court which makes handling ones fines unduly burdensome. This court, from what I have seen, looks for "technicalities" within the law to jail people over minor traffic offenses forcing people to have to obtain Attorneys for violations such as minor traffic offenses they should be able to speak directly with the judge about.

I recieved two traffic citations for minor traffic violations such as seatbelt, taillight. I missed my court date when I fell on extremely hard times. I left Tennessee. When I called the court to see if I could reschedule my court date due to emergencies, I was told after anyone misses court a warrant is automatically issued and that person must be arrest "First" before they could talk to the judge.

So I asked the court clerk if I showed up simply to try to resolve my violation they would arrest me and I was told "Yes". [continued below]....
..... Wow. Most courts will let you talk to the judge who decides what to do. I asked how much were my fines and was informed I could only get that information "From the judge". So now I don't know how much to even bring with me. I have called not one but "Several" people and this is the answer they all give. I was also told to "Get a lawyer" to come with me. Wow.

When I called around to find attorneys the going rate is in the thousands of dollars!!! I am poor and simply can't afford that. Plus, the attorneys say "No guarantees". They can't even assure me I won't be arrested. This court is held one day of every week which is Wednesday evening at 6 p.m. So anyone arrested would have to spend days in jail.

This is unbelievable. I have never known a court to force people to get an attorney under threat of arrest for minor traffic violations. No one believes me when I tell them about Germantown because they have never dealt with Germantown which is a small, very conservative, majority white town.

If you are poor or minority stay away from this town and all small, rural, redneck towns in the South. This seems like "Perverted Justice".

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 10/01/2012 10:07 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Germantown-Municipal-Court/Germantown-Tennessee-38138/Germantown-Municipal-Court-City-of-Germantown-Municipal-Court-Heavy-handed-Court-which-re-949069. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Consumer Comment

Warning To All Minorities: Germantown Ct is

AUTHOR: TruthandJustice - (USA)

The Germantown Municipal Court has always been rife with problems.  Corruption is allowed to Fester there because of the way the court is set up. The elected city and court officials don't have to answer to anyone. This creates a very ripe environment for abuse. Below listed is a recent story about how Germantown court officials pulled strings to let "certain people" get their felonies wiped away. Yet, if you are poor and black and go into the court on something relatively minor, such as a traffic violation, the court goes out of its way to "make an example" out of you. [See Below]

The Investigators:  Felonies Erased


GERMANTOWN, TN - (WMC TV) - A Tennessee law designed to clear the names of exonerated, first-time felony offenders has disenfranchised the victim of a drive-by shooting in Germantown.Three Germantown city officials and a Tennessee state representative confirmed that in August 2009, a male and a female fired an unidentified weapon at Germantown's Taylor Hazlerig when she stopped her car at the intersection of Riverdale Rd. and Eastern Ave.

(I can guarantee you if the offender was black they would have NEVER had their felonies erased)

Former Germantown City Prosecutor Joe Lee Wyatt eventually was forced to step down from his position due to a drunken driving conviction. He also was able to get off with a "slap on the wrist". He was also caught in a seedy area of town with a prostitute. That was never brought up.

Former Germantown Court Clerk Janet Donnell was also arrested for Embezzlement and recieved a "slap on the wrist"..

Looks like the only way the Germantown Municipal Court will be fair to you is if you are a white person.

Small Courts throughout this country which operate autonomously often unfairly mistreat blacks and the poor. There was one small court in Tenaha, Texas that colluded with the Police Department and the District Attorney to rob and extort every minority traveling through for all the cash they had on them. Andersoon Cooper and other media stations had shows about this. This went on for years with the cops basically pulling over people travelling through town who were all from out of state or not from the city and telling them their children would be taken or their cars confiscated if they didn't turn over all of their cash.

The way they did this was by bringing out drug dogs on every single stop and "claiming" everyone who was of a "darker hue" had "drug residue". They were able to "legally" then threaten these folk with prison time or sign waivers IF they would leave all their cash. the District Attorney would then split the money with the cops and they would party.

See the below link or just google Tenaha TX highway Robbery..


White People normally don't care about this because they are not the ones who are unfairly targeted, given harsher penalities and ripped off or abused by these people. It's always, especially in the South, the people of a "Darker Hue";the black or brown people. The poor people.

Here is another great article about the racism and abuses in these small town court houses throughout the country: In Tiny Courts of N.Y., Abuses of Law and Power, New York Times


In the article above, you will get a picture of what people are up against when they come before these small town court houses not just in NY but throughout the entire country. If you are poor and black you are at the absolute mercy of powerful, and often evil forces.

Broken Bench"This Is Not America"

A yearlong investigation by The New York Times of the life and history of New York States town and village courts found a long trail of judicial abuses and errors and of governmental failure to curb them.

Broken Bench: Town and Village JusticeNearly three-quarters of the judges are not lawyers, and many truck drivers, sewer workers or laborers have scant grasp of the most basic legal principles. Some never got through high school, and at least one went no further than grade school. But serious things happen in these little rooms all over New York State. People have been sent to jail without a guilty plea or a trial, or tossed from their homes without a proper proceeding. In violation of the law, defendants have been refused lawyers, or sentenced to weeks in jail because they cannot pay a fine. Frightened women have been denied protection from abuse

I have a friend who works at a small sheriff's office in the South. They have informed me that young black men are being brought in and fingerprinted and essentially given a police record for minor driving offenses such as "not wearing a seatbelt"or "not putting on a signal light". As soon as they are fingerprinted,they are released and given their date to appear before a judge. This is unbelievable and black people in the South are still very much under assault by the judicial forces in these small, rural, redneck towns.

I remember the Jena 6 fiasco in Jena, LA where five young black boys were engaged in a school yard fight and the white D.A. (that racist B*stard) tried to send them all upstate to prison for years for what should have been handled by a suspension. Lawyers from up north had to fly down and it took marches and media coverage to make sure those guys were treated fairly.

As soon as they were exonerated, their parents were told "Get them out of here"..Meaning "LEAVE THE SOUTH". Every single one was sent away. One was sent to Texas, and others to various other states. One of the guys ended up living with a white lawyer and his family in New York and when CNN questioned the attorney about what he thought would have happened if the young man was allowed to remain in Jena and he replied "I have no doubt the D.A. would have come after him on something"..

This is how it is folks..

For blacks and browns in the South.. These white folks show their racism through the courts now. Unfair sentences, throwing people in jail for things that most places would simply fine them for..

Germantown Municipal Court is the WORST offender. Absolute WORST. Tries to make an example out of everyone. Tries to ruin people. The FBI really should investigate this court.

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#2 General Comment

Lawyers charge much more for tickets in Germantown than those in Memphis.. Not sure why.

AUTHOR: MikeInGermantown - (United States of America)

Lawyers do charge more for tickets in Germantown than those which are in Memphis. I'm not sure why this is; it may have something to do with Germantown being extremely prickish on traffic violators in general.

However, I agree that if someone couldn't make it to court to answer for a minor traffic offense, they should not have to spend thousands on an attorney. The judge should be accessible. If someone shows up or calls to inquire about handling their violations they should not be threatened with arrest if they show up. I mean, honestly, they have to show up eventually anyway so why threaten them over the phone with arrest for missing court? Why not let them show up and talk to the judge first and see what the judge wants to do. 

The Germantown Municipal Court way of doing business is very different, detrimental and biased to those who have been ticketed. I just believe the judge should be accessible for these types of cases without all the red tape. 

That's my say. I hope you get it all resolved. Good luck.
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#3 Consumer Comment

I Second the Original Post; Germantown Municipal Court is too tough; Not flexible

AUTHOR: J. Berry - (United States of America)

I have dealt with Germantown Court some years ago. They were very tough. I understand that courts have to be tough, but I also understand that courts have to be fair. They should be understanding. I can't believe that someone with a failure to appear from a traffic violation is threatened with arrest before they can explain anything to a judge. This is not right and not in the spirit of any law I know. Yes, a failure to appear is a crime. However, failure to appears do happen and no one should be thrown in jail or threatened with arrest on traffic related failure to appear without speaking first to a judge.

These small town courthouses often abuse their authority and privileges. It seems like they just want to give you an arrest record no questions asked. I don't see why anyone should have to spend thousands of dollars for legal representation on something like this. It just doesn't make sense.

Attorneys must love Germantown Municipal Court. To Charge thousands of dollars on this type of charge is unbelievable. Wonder what can be done about this if anything. There is such a thing as going by not only the law, but the "spirit" of the law and this certainly can't be anything but exploitative and unfair to the poor.

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#4 Consumer Comment

I Agree- Germantown Municipal Court is so Tough it is a Cash Cow for lawyers

AUTHOR: ilic - (USA)

I agree with the original post.

Germantown Municipal Court is so tough on the smallest offenses it has turned into a cash cow for attorneys. No one should be made to pay Thousands of dollars for attorney fees for missing court on a minor traffic violation. Their could easily be something put in place as it is with other major courts such as the one in Memphis, TN where people can resolve thier Failure to Appears without being forced to spend that type of money.

The attorneys in Germantown and elsewhere have become so accustomed to Germanown Municipal Court being ridiculous that they have all hiked their prices where traffic offenses now costs more than filing a bankruptcy. Traffic offenses can easily run someone thousands of dollars in the red just on attorney fees and not the actual violation itself. I am curious as to why Germantown Municipal Court has taken this tact and I believe there may be a pact somewhere to intentionally create a perfect scenario by which the lawyers out there are assured sky high fees for their services. I mean, really, traffic court is only a few minutes. Someone is going to make thousands of dollars for just a few minutes?

I don't begruge an attorney for making money but this something has got to give out in Germantown. People don't understand this seems like extortion of the poor. It really does. The majority of people who get these types of violations are young people, students, minorities. To force them to hire an attorney or face imminent arrest when they are trying to resolve their violations is just not right. And every court doesn't work this way. I can assure you of that.

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#5 Author of original report

Actually you are Wrong. "ALL" courts don't work this way. Even Memphis Clerk stated Germantown was Very Different

AUTHOR: MLY88 - (United States of America)

You are actually wrong. All courts don't work the  way Germantown Municipal Court works. Even the Memphis Chief Clerk stated this amongst many others in the legal profession in Memphis. All I have heard from people was that "oh, Germantown is perschnickity" and "Germantown Court is tougher than all other courts".

That is why the lawyers are SKY HIGH and suddenly JACK THE PRICE OF THEIR SERVICE UP when dealing with Germantown Municipal Court. This is really unfair to those people who have cases that could easily be resolved in other courts by speaking to the Judge (as they have a right to do without being threatened) instead of having people be placed in positions where they are sponged off of by attorneys. This is ridiculous.

The lawyers when dealing with traffic violations in Germantown charge more than Bankrucpty attorneys even though Traffic court last a few minutes.I've attended traffic court in other locations. The lawyers aren't in there for no more than maybe 15 minutes. They are called up FIRST.

This is really exploitative to the poor and I feel its nothing more than extortion. Failure to Appears HAPPEN. All day EVERYDAY. No one should be made to spend thousands in this economy to handle a failure to appear which resulted from missing court on a minor traffic violation! This is obscene and only leads the way to milking the poor or forcing people that should therefore have no criminal record into a criminal record since they can't afford a lawyer and are at the mercy of a court that can't understand how it feels to have car trouble or have an emergency.

Everyone isn't rich and until they close the streets through Germantown to the poor the court needs to understand that they have to be understanding and not make it so difficult for regular people to resolve their traffic violations.

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#6 Author of original report

Courts Are Suppose to be "Understanding", at least that's what a Judge Once told me

AUTHOR: MLY88 - (United States of America)

You say don't miss your court date for "any" reason? So I guess if you get ill, get in a car accident, has a car breakdown, has ANY KIND OF AN EMERGENCY, in YOUR BOOK someone is just "screwed"..

No explaining, no other amends.

Wow. So I guess Germantown Court was set up for the super duper rich who all have new cars or can hire top attorneys no problem to help them out.The rest of us poor guys with older model cars who are subject to "emergencies" are just out of luck hunh?

lol.. you repubs are just soooo out of touch. Thank God the country has wised up and decided not to give you the "top job" anymore. Give me a break. Things happen and someone should not be harrassed and scorned because they missed a court date. It HAPPENS. Courts have to be prepared to offer alternatives to people who through no fault of their own could not make it.

This is simply common sense.

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#7 Consumer Comment

Not exactly.

AUTHOR: Flynrider - (USA)

"  This court, from what I have seen, looks for "technicalities" within the law to jail people over minor traffic offenses  "

  I think you're misrepresenting what is really going on.   You post claims that warrants are issued for minor offenses.  By your own words, the warrant was issued because you promised to appear in court, then didn't.  Failure to appear is taken seriously by courts.   When you signed your ticket(s), you promised that you would appear on the given date and time.  You chose to blow it off and now your upset that there are consequences?

   This is probably the most common reason warrants are issued and virtually every court works this way.    Once the warrant has been issued, you are "arrestable".  Were you expecting to call them on the phone and make the warrant go away if you promised to show up at some future time?   You understand that the court has no reason to believe that you'll show when you say you will, so the warrant will remain in effect until you actually appear before the judge.  

 "  No one believes me when I tell them about Germantown "

  Gee, I wonder why that could be??    Perhaps because you come off as a person who deliberately misstates the facts.   Perhaps they also recognize that when you blow off a court of law, there are usually consequences.   There's really nothing special about your post to indicate that Germantown works any different from any other town. 
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#8 Consumer Comment

IF what you said is true.......


"If you are poor or minority stay away from this town and all small, rural, redneck towns in the South. This seems like "Perverted Justice".

You would have a slam-dunk civil rights case....but I think you may have exaggerated and/or have NO proof of this accusation.  Let me guess, your a minority and poor...right?

The lesson from this would be, don't miss your court date for ANY reason.
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