The Clerk's Office
The main functions of the Clerk's Office are to:
- Process criminal complaints filed by the District Attorney, City Attorney or other prosecuting agency;
- Assist the public on criminal matters;
- Schedule court appearances;
- Process criminal related documents; (i.e. requests for modification of sentence; alcohol program, etc.)
- Conduct record searches and process certified copy requests
Court Appearance Date
All criminal offenses require a court appearance. If you have been charged with a criminal offense, you are required to appear in Court on the date, time and location indicated on the citation, promise to appear, bail bond, District Attorney letter or any notice of hearing with a court date.
Failure to appear for a court appearance may result in a warrant issued for your immediate arrest. Court Clerks are not authorized to continue or postpone a court date.
To confirm a court appearance date:
- Visit the Court's On-line case and calendar information section; or
- Contact the Clerk's Office by telephone or in person; or
- Contact the District Attorney's Office to confirm if charges have been filed with the Court.
If the person was arrested and is in custody at the Monterey County Jail, he/she may be:
- Detained up to 48 hours excluding weekends and holidays; If the District Attorney files a complaint within 48 hours, the Sheriff will transport the defendant to court for arraignment. (Refer to Courtroom Process);
- Eligible to post bail and be released with a future court appearance date; or
- Released on his/her own recognizance with a future court appearance date.
To check the status of a person in-custody, contact:
- The Monterey County Sheriff's Office;
- The Monterey County District Attorney's Office to inquire if a complaint will be filed; or
- Access the Court's On-line case and calendar information section.
In-Custody Video Arraignments
Pursuant to California Penal Code section 977(c), the Court may permit the initial court appearance or arraignment held at any state, county or local detention facility be held by two-way electronic audio video communication between the defendant and the courtroom in lieu of the physical presence of the defendant in the courtroom.
The Judge will advise the defendant of his/her constitutional rights and the right to be present in the courtroom. All defendants must sign a consent form prior to the video arraignment. The District Attorney, Public Defender and interpreter, if required, are present in the courtroom.
- To schedule a case for a court hearing, contact the Clerk's Office in person or by telephone. Click here for court locations. Court hearings are generally scheduled as follows:
- Misdemeanors: Tuesday – Friday at 8:15 a.m.
- Felonies: Tuesday – Friday at 8:30 a.m.
- Provide the Clerk's Office a minimum of two (2) business days to process your request. (For example, if today is Monday, the earliest your court date will be scheduled will be Wednesday).
- When scheduling your case for court, please provide the Clerk's Office with the following information:
- Your name and any other names you use;
- The case number(s), if available. If you have more than one case, please inform the clerk;
- Your telephone number;
- Date you are requesting to appear; and
- Reason for your appearance (warrant outstanding, re-referral to a program, etc.)
- Click here to view Judicial Assignments.
If you failed to appear for a court appearance, a warrant of arrest may have been issued for your immediate arrest.
In addition to a warrant issued for your arrest, other actions may have taken place as a result of your failure to appear:
- The forfeiture of your bail or bond, if applicable; and/or
- A hold may be placed on your driver's license by the Department of Motor Vehicles, resulting in an inability to renew your license and/or a suspension or revocation of your licensing privileges, if applicable.
Contact the Clerk's Office to reschedule your case for court.
Important: If you have a warrant outstanding for your arrest and you have a scheduled court date, the warrant will remain outstanding until you appear in court and you may still be subject to arrest by any law enforcement agency. For information on posting bail, you may contact a bail bondsman or the Monterey County Sheriff's Office regarding this procedure.
If you do not post bail, there is no guarantee when you appear in court that the Judge will release you on your own recognizance; you may be remanded into the custody of the Sheriff until bail is posted. Click here for information on posting Bail.
A few days before your court date, you can confirm that your case is scheduled for court by:
- Accessing the Court's On-line case or calendar information section; or
- Contacting the Clerk's Office by telephone or in person;
To verify the Court's address, click here Court Locations, map & directions.
You should plan to arrive at the court location of your scheduled hearing at least 15-30 minutes prior to the time of your court appearance. Parking is very limited at the Salinas court location and you will have to pass through security screening at all court locations.
What should I bring to court?
- Proper identification (Driver's License, California ID, or other picture identification);
- Copy of the citation or court case number;
- Notice of hearing/court paper work from the last court appearance;
- Bond receipts, cash bail receipts, etc.;
- Jail release paperwork; and/or
- Sentencing and/or probation order.
The Day of Your Court Hearing
- The courtroom is a professional setting and you are encouraged to dress accordingly;
- Be prepared to pass through entrance security screening;
- Check the calendar listing for your name and courtroom number;
- Report directly to the courtroom as indicated; and
- If your name is not on the calendar listing, check in at the Clerk's Office for further instructions.