1/9/17 – 5:17 A.M.
The Findlay Municipal Court is looking to crack down on unpaid fines and fees. The Courier reports defendants owe the court $11.7 million in outstanding fees as of December 21 of 2016. The number has increased nearly $9 million over six years.
Delinquent accounts are typically turned over to a collection agency. However, Findlay Municipal Court Judge Jonathan Starn tells the newspaper, “We’ve gotten back to the point where just doing the collection agency isn’t enough to get it done anymore.”
Starting this month, probation officers will hold weekly fines and costs hearings every Monday. The municipal court phased out a similar program five years ago when dockets got too full.
Of the $11.7 million owed to the court, $2.7 million comes from defendants who haven’t paid their jail costs. Since 2013, defendants who serve time in the county jail have to pay an $84 per day fee.
Starn says around 30 percent of people pay the fines issued by the court. He adds he’d like to see that come up to at least 40 or 45 percent.
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