If you plead not guilty prior to your Initial Appearance (IA) date the court will issue an order scheduling a pretrial conference between you and the Town Attorney. You will receive a court notice indicating the pretrial conference date and time. The Town Attorney represent the Town of Cottage Grove and prosecutes cases that go to trial before the Municipal Court.
The purpose of the pretrial conference procedure is to explore the possibilities of resolving your case without going to trial. 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 ant the Town Attorney. Keep in mind the Town Attorney represents the Town of Cottage Grove, not you. You have the right to maintain your not guilty pea and not accept any offer the Town Attorney might make, but you must participate in the procedure.
A copy of your citation will be forwarded to the Town Attorney's office. The Town Attorney also has access to police reports that were filed in your case. You have the right to ask the Town Attorney for a copy of any reports filed in your case. You should bring any refusal to the attention of the court.
If you and the Town Attorney reach 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 reach. If no agreement is reached, the Municipal Court Clerk will be notified to set the citation for trial. It is likely the Town Attorney's office will mail or email a plea or settlement offer proposing to resolve your citation(s). The proposed agreement may offer to reduce the forfeiture, amend charge(s) or dismiss citations(s) in exchange for a no contest or guilty plea to other citations. The Town Attorney has discretion in this regard. If you accept the proposed agreement, the case will resolve without the need to go to trial so long as the Judge approves the settlement.
The Judge reviews all plea agreements reached between a defendant and the Town Attorney. The Judge approves or rejects the plea agreement. Rejected plea agreements will either be renegotiated or scheduled for trial.