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An informal hearing is a proceeding held before a magistrate regarding a civil infraction offense with the defendant and the police officer (plaintiff) under oath. The defendant and the police officer may present testimony and call witnesses during an informal hearing, but neither may have an attorney represent them.

The plaintiff has the burden of proving the defendant is responsible by a preponderance of the evidence, or that it is more likely than not, that the defendant is responsible for the alleged offense. The magistrate will determine whether or not the defendant is responsible for the civil infraction based on the testimony and evidence presented.

If neither party is satisfied with the outcome of an informal hearing, the case may be appealed. The outcome of an informal hearing may be appealed within seven days of the magistrate's decision and will then be scheduled for a formal hearing in front of a district court judge. If the decision is appealed by the defendant, bond must be posted in the amount of the fine.