Vicksburg Municipal Court holds second amnesty period

Published 12:52 pm Thursday, July 29, 2021

Vicksburg and Warren County residents who owe back fines to the city of Vicksburg have a second chance to pay them and avoid spending a day in court.

The Vicksburg Municipal Court is holding a second amnesty period beginning Saturday and running through Oct. 1.

According to city records, $3,652,307.29 is presently owed the city in back fines. When the first amnesty period was held earlier this year, a total of $3,398,671.26 was owed. Past due fines totaled $4,068,883.79 in 2020.

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The court normally holds its annual amnesty period in February but Municipal Judge Angela Carpenter said a decision was made to hold a second period to give people another opportunity to pay their fines.

“If people have an overdue fine or a contempt warrant against them they can come down to the court and pay the fine and avoid being arrested and avoid having to come to court and sit through court. They can get the matter resolved quickly,” Carpenter said.

“This gives us a chance to get those (paid fine) numbers up,” Municipal Court Administrator Kayla Hudson said, adding the amnesty period gives people a chance to get their outstanding warrants wiped out.

“Some people need to have things expunged and we don’t want to see them come in and get arrested for something that can just be easily taken care of,” she said. “I think it’s good we’re doing it more than one time of the year.

“Judge Carpenter reached out to me that this would be something good that we should run again to see how it will do,” Hudson said. “It may do better at certain times of the year. We’ll just try it again and see what happens.”

Recovering past due fines has been a problem for city officials. Besides the amnesty program, the Board of Mayor and Aldermen in December 2019 approved an agreement with Municipal Intercept Co. LLC to work with the Mississippi Department of Revenue to put a lien on an individual’s state income tax refund if they owe the city money.

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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