Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

February 18, 2013

Time to pay those old fines

Barry Porterfield
Pauls Valley Democrat

bporterfield@pvdemocrat.com — The long arm of the law could be reaching for you — that is if you’re one of those folks who hasn’t paid your municipal fines here in Pauls Valley.

The message is those with fines that still need to be paid or have failed to appear for dates in Pauls Valley’s municipal court need to get it taken care of as soon as possible.

Those who don’t get it cleared up by paying the city of PV what is owed will find an arrest warrant issued in their name.

“This is for people who have failed to appear or pay,” said PV Police Chief Mitch McGill.

“We want the public to know we’re going to issue a lot of warrants,” he said. “We will be arresting people on these warrants. We’re already in the process of doing that.

“If there’s anyone out there with outstanding fines they need to come to the police station and make arrangements with the court clerk to appear before a judge and get it cleared up.”

Both McGill and Assistant Chief Derrick Jolley stress this involves PV city citations and the municipal court located inside Pauls Valley’s police station at 400 West Paul.

Put simply, the local municipal court is totally separate from Garvin County District Court housed in the county courthouse a short distance away on Grant Avenue.

“Take care of your business,” McGill said.

“If you’ve got fines come pay them. If you think you have outstanding fines or a warrant for your arrest, you need to make contact with the municipal court clerk here at the police station.”

In recent weeks and months officials have been looking closer into records in the municipal court clerk’s office for the different cases involving citations and overdue fines.

They found there’s a lot of people out there who still owe money from the municipal citations they received at some point in the past.

“Those records show who’s paid what and who’s failed to appear for their court dates,” Jolley said.

“Anyone who hasn’t paid or appeared will have a warrant issued for their arrest. If officers contact them they will be arrested and brought here to city jail,” he said.

The assistant police chief again repeated this is all about fines that are still outstanding.

“This is anything municipal,” Jolley said, referring to the citations within Pauls Valley.

“If you’re charged through the municipal court that’s what this is about,” he said.

“Mostly it’s traffic tickets, but it can be for any municipal citation. This is about citations and fines being issued and people choosing not to pay.”

An example is a person is given a $20 fine for not wearing a seat belt while driving. That person chooses not to pay.

Eventually that individual could be arrested. They will for sure have to pay the fine plus an additional $200.

“If you know someone with outstanding fines you need to share this information with them,” Jolley said.

They added the city is also known to garnish tax return money or use a collection agency in these cases.