Municipal Court

Judge Ross Wichman has been the Municipal Judge for Russell since 1994. He has also served as Municipal Judge in Ellis and more recently, Hays. The Seneca, Kansas native received his undergraduate degee from Kansas State University. After a four year tour in the U.S. Navy, he completed his law degree from University of Kansas. He maintains a private practice in Hays.

Russell Municipal Court is one of two courts in the city. The District Court, at the Russell County Courthouse, has jurisdiction over all felonies and most misdemeanors committed in Russell, surrounding communities, and the county. The Russell Municipal Court handles violations of Russell City ordinances including traffic violations and criminal violations.

Trials at Russell Municipal Court are without a jury. That is, all trials are to the Judge. Dan Krug is the City Prosecutor who presents the city’s case before the judge.  Russell Municipal Court has jurisdiction for criminal offenses and traffic offenses that provide a maximum $2,500 fine and a maximum one-year jail sentence.  No one convicted in Russell Municipal Court can serve in the State Penitentiary. All jail penalties are served in the Russell County Jail. 

Fines and general information about penalties for ordinance violations are determined by the Municipal Judge, with the direct input of the Chief of Police, City Prosecutor, City Manager and the City Council.  Certain ordinance violations may also involve what is called "restitution". If a victim of a crime believes that he has suffered financial damage as the result of the criminal violation, that victim can apply to the Court for a court ruling directing the defendant to pay to the victim those costs.