Amnesty being offered for past court fines

Published 6:59 pm Thursday, January 18, 2018

Beginning Feb. 1, people who owe fines in Vicksburg Municipal Court will have two months to pay them off and avoid getting arrested.

The court’s annual amnesty period runs from Feb. 1 through April 9.

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“This program is a big help for us to help clear our system of back fines,” Municipal Judge Toni Terrett said. “Our amnesty period is a bit broader time than previous periods. The amnesty is a good time for people who have back fines to pay them off and not risk being arrested on a warrant for contempt of court and having to post a bond.

“They can come in and pay and no questions asked. If they come in after April 9 to pay their back fine, they will have a warrant served and will have to post a bond even if they pay the fine.”

Recovering past due fines owed the city for violations like misdemeanor crimes and traffic violations has been a problem for city officials over the years. 

The amount of past due fines owed the city of Vicksburg totals $3.9 million, according to court service records.

During the 2017 amnesty period, Terrett said, 181 people took advantage to pay back fines totaling $85,133.35.

In 2015, the amnesty period netted the city $64,412.85 in back fines, about $2,656 more than collected in 2014, when the Vicksburg Municipal Court collected $61,756.41 in back fines from people who took advantage of the amnesty period.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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