Local residents have until March 7 to get active city fines and warrants taken care of or risk having local police show up on their doorstep to serve warrants.
Sulphur Springs’ Police Department and Municipal Court will be among more than 200 jurisdictions and agencies across the state who are combining efforts to host the third annual Great Texas Warrant Roundup.
The state-wide roundup is designed to target thousands of defendants in traffic, parking, city ordinance, penal code and other warrants and has been hailed as one of the largest join operations of its kind, with arrests expected to continue over several days in some areas.
Hundreds of thousands of notices are being mailed statewide by participating entities to individuals with outstanding warrants.
Sulphur Springs Municipal Court has more than 3,000 of these cases. Those cases more than a few years old, which have been turned over to a collection agency, have already been sent out. More recent cases still in the “new” program at the municipal court were being readied Friday to be mailed. Anyone wanted on warrants through Sulphur Springs Municipal Court can expect to get a notice about the roundup and instructions on how to take care of the warrants prior to being arrested.
Warrants through the municipal court can include traffic, criminal, parking, penal code and city ordinance violation that are Class C misdemeanor charges, punishable by a fine of up to $500.
While getting people to pay fines generates revenue, the primary goal of the round up is to help departments clear out old cases, according to Sulphur Springs Municipal Court Judge Phyllis Rogers.
Sulphur Springs Municipal Court will be open during the roundup from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, March 7, to allow people to pay fines or make other arrangements concerning those outstanding tickets and warrants
This is a good opportunity for people who need to take care of tickets but who have difficulty appearing at the court during the regular work week. All they have to do is stop by the court, located at 312 South Davis Street, Suite A (just north of the Kansas City Southern railroad tracks) to pay fines or set up payment plans. Fines may be paid by cash, money order or cashier's check. Those who receive notices should check for instructions.
Those paying fines may also mail that amount by money order or cashier's check to the municipal court, but should note that the warrants will remain active and they could be subject to arrest until the payment is received and posted. Those mailing payments should call within a few days of mailing to confirm the documents have been received.
Those attempting to rectify outstanding charges should note that there will be no special exceptions made for their cases that day. Regular fines and costs may be paid, but no deals will be made for appearing in court on or before March 7 to take care of the outstanding charges.
“If they don’t get it taken care of by March 7, they could be arrested here, at work or at home. We’re required to keep stats on the cases we close, as are all who participate in the state roundup,” Municipal Court Judge Phyllis Rogers said. “If it’s a capias (essentially an unpaid fine), they pay or go to jail. They have until March 7th to take care of these things. There will be no amnesty. We can’t give special options without a hearing. They’ll be arrested. They’ll be required to pay fines and costs.”
Sulphur Springs Police Department is slated to have extra officers on duty March 7, for the sole purpose of finding people wanted on outstanding city charges and bringing them in to take care of the charges.
While that day is being designated for warrant service, that doesn’t mean that wanted people can’t or won’t be arrested before then. The city’s warrants officer will continue his regular duties, which dinclude serving warrants, over the next two weeks. Also, anyone stopped or in contact with law enforcement officers before March 7 can also be subject to arrest, just like any other time.
Those unsure whether they have outstanding charges may also contact the court by calling 903-885-7454.
As of Friday afternoon, the police department and municipal court were the only agencies in Hopkins County which had plans to participate in the roundup. Representatives from Hopkins County Sheriff’s Office, Precinct 1 and 2 Justices of the Peace indicated the offices had no current plans to take part.
|< Prev||Next >|