By Matt FredmonskyReporterKent -- The Halloween action in downtown Kent shifted from the bars to the courthouse within a few hours.About 50 people crowded near the steps of the Portage County Municipal Court by 1:30 p.m. Oct. 28 while another 23 sat in custody inside awaiting arraignment for their alleged misdeeds.Inside the courthouse, people packed into the seats of courtroom A and lined the hallway just outside. One man who was in custody complained of being sick and was escorted by an officer to the bathroom.Municipal Court Judge John Plough addressed the crowd of offenders prior to beginning the proceedings. Plough said the clerk of courts office would process each case heard."It's going to take some time once you leave the courtroom, so be prepared," Plough said.Employees in the clerks office estimated between 50 to 60 people received citations Oct. 27 and 28, in addition to the 23 arrested.The Sunday court session marks the second straight year Plough has taken the bench to process cases immediately following Kent's unofficial Halloween celebration. He implemented the session last year to reduce the amount of cases heard the Monday following Halloween.Warren residents Gary Purcell and Brad Golenbowski, both 20, were just two of the people cited for prohibitions this weekend. Purcell said they were happy not to have been arrested and were hopeful to receive a small fine or community service as punishment."It was late, we were getting ready to go in when he caught us," Purcell, who has never been cited before, said. "It's a learning experience."MANY OF the offenses related to alcohol. During the session, Plough asked those people cited for prohibitions, or underage drinking, to approach the bench. At that point, the majority of people in the courtroom stood up.Plough said the penalty for disorderly conduct charges in relation to public intoxication include a $25 fine plus court costs and 30 hours of community service, but he said those penalties would be waived if the offender had no other such violations for up to two years.One woman from Lodi drove to Kent to bail out her son, who she said had been arrested for underage drinking and trespassing.Rocky Sawyer, a Kent resident, said he also was at the courthouse Sunday to bail out a friend whose arrest he witnessed."The cops wouldn't let me stand there while he was cited," Sawyer said. "They made me walk away. We don't know what's going on. We're here to find out what he was cited for."A final count of people ticketed during the weekend could not be obtained by press time. Last year, Kent police cited close to 80 people for underage drinking, disorderly conduct and other alcohol-related offenses. In past years, Kent police have arrested and cited more than 100 people during the unofficial celebration.The Kent fire department responded to 14 calls related to Halloween events, not including a fraternity house fire on University Drive that caused $70,000 in damage, said Kent Fire Capt. Charles Palmer."We had our typical alcohol poisonings and routine EMS calls but no other significant calls," he noted.Editor's note: Fredmonsky is a reporter for the Record-Courier.E-mail: mfredmonsky@recordpub.comTelephone: 330-673-3491