Aggressive Push to Collect Court Fines

By: Leonard Horton
By: Leonard Horton

The long arm of the law is after those who have refused to pay their court fines. Those with court debt are being asked to pay up, or else.

"We're probably dealing with 5,000 writs, and the fees vary depending on what they're set for. Some people could have three or four writs, and they could be $300 to $400 a piece," explained CAPT Leroy Johnson with the Leon County Sheriff's Office.

Johnson says close to 20 deputies have been set aside just for this. Bob Inzer, Leon County's clerk of courts, says close to $1.3 million in court fees are owed.

"These amounts need to be paid, but if there is a reason they can't make the payment schedule they originally agreed to, they need to come in and let us know. We will be glad to work with them and set up payment arrangements to meet their needs," said Inzer.

"I think a lot of people don't have the money. A lot of people don't care. But I think a lot of people choose to ignore it," added Johnson.

A spokesperson for the sheriff's office says money collected from court fines benefit various community service agencies.
Because of jail overcrowding, sheriff's deputies are not wanting to arrest those with debt...but hope they will come forward voluntarily.
The debt collection campaign will run for the next couple of weeks.

As of noon Monday, close to 41 people have either been arrested or come forward to pay their bills. More than $11,000 in fines have been paid.


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