Missouri City cleared 325 warrants and netted $70,965 during the Great Texas Warrant Roundup from Feb. 16 through March 10. The collections include monies paid for fines, court costs and cash bonds. With the amount of jail time served, known as face value, the City’s roundup effort totaled more than $115,569.
“This is our sixth year participating in the initiative and our successful Warrant Roundup program was a team endeavor,” said Cathy Haney, Director of Municipal Court Services. “It showed us what can be done with a collective approach on the part of the Police Department, Court staff, 911 Dispatch, Communications and Public Works Departments working together to make the effort a success.”
Haney also added that “our collection vendor, Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson, LLP, did an outstanding job notifying defendants in warrant of the statewide action.”
The program lasted two weeks and targeted individuals across Texas who have outstanding warrants for their arrest based upon the defendants’ failure to pay fines for traffic tickets and other misdemeanor crimes. Citizens with outstanding warrants had the opportunity to pay their fines or risk being arrested.
Missouri City Municipal Court staff is always looking for innovate ways to help citizens avoid serving jail time. One successful example involves a long-time Court volunteer. Filmore Cohen has worked with the Court for more than 10 years, making friendly phone calls to people, reminding them of their outstanding fines.
“He comes to the court office on Fridays and calls defendants who have missed their court date that week,” Haney said. “Once he starts calling, our phones ring off the walls.” About 30 percent of people he speaks with end up contacting the court, she added.
Among the payments received this year was for a defendant whose case dated back to 1991 and included charges for failure to appear, no license plate and failure to maintain financial responsibility (no insurance).
Overall, the warrant roundup program has been successful in the “Show Me City”.
In 2012, Missouri City cleared 400 bonds and netted $81,121 in cash and cash bonds during the Statewide Warrant Roundup, Haney said. With the amount of jail time served, known as face value, the City’s roundup effort totaled more than $163,603.
Among the payments received was one for a case dating back to 1988.
In 2011, the City cleared 381 warrants and netted $86,749, Haney said. The collections include monies paid for fines, court costs and bonds. With the amount of jail time served, the City’s roundup effort totaled more than $141,000. Most of the 381 warrants that were resolved involved traffic cases. One notable offense, an alcohol-related case dating back to 1998, was among those cleared.
In 2010, the City cleared 281 warrants and netted $63,000, Haney said. Most of the warrants resolved involved traffic offenses, city code violations and school truancies. In addition, several older cases were cleared off the books, allowing the Municipal Court staff to concentrate on newer warrants.