City hopes to collect $1M in old fines
Wednesday, January 29, 2014 12:00 AM
An effort is underway by the Police Department to collect about $1 million in delinquent fines for the city as more than 2,000 people have outstanding warrants for their arrests.
Mayor James A. Young said officials have been battling the delinquent cases in recent years.
"The court system has done what it could do to process the paper work," he said. "Now it is a matter of facilitating with the police department and getting those people who are behind. The bottom line is either pay the fine or go to jail. When you commit these crimes and/or traffic violations, we ask people to pay the fines. The police will be looking for those delinquent and we hope they will come in and settle up before they go to jail. There are no other options except those two."
He said the delinquencies cost the taxpayers of Philadelphia in manpower, from police officers to court personnel.
"It's an uphill battle but we are going to fight it as hard as we can," Young said.
Chief of Police Grant Myers said residents with unpaid fines should go to the municipal clerk's office in city hall to pay the fines or set up a payment plan to avoid arrest.
"Anyone with an outstanding warrant or unpaid fines could be picked up and placed in jail," he said.
Municipal Court Clerk Denise Refre said if someone delinquent is arrested, they will have to pay one-half of the fine before they can be released from jail.
"They will have to make arrangements to start paying the remainder of the fine on a monthly basis," she said.