The Amnesty Period does NOT dismiss any charges. However, it does provide an opportunity for anyone with outstanding warrants in Trigg County courts to turn themselves in at the police department and be released with a court date without having to go to jail or post a bond. The person can then work with the judge, prosecutor and their attorney to get the matter resolved quickly.
As of April 15, 2014, there were 581 active warrants and summonses in the state E-warrant system out of Trigg County. Nearly 75 percent of these warrants are for people who failed to show up for court or failed to pay their court fine.
“We are hoping that people will take advantage of this opportunity to show up and get these outstanding warrants taken care of,” said Cadiz Police Chief Chad Grace.
Nearly 40-percent of the active warrants are for people who failed to pay court fines totaling over $81,000. Some of these warrants date back to the 1990s. The amounts range from $30 to $1,661.
“A lot of people we arrest on outstanding warrants tell us they knew they had a warrant but didn’t want to lose their job or go to jail so they just didn’t show up for court,” said Sergeant Scott Brown, one of the officers overseeing the program. “Others have told us they were never contacted by the court because they moved, and didn’t provide a forwarding address.”
In addition, there are 22 outstanding warrants for failure to pay child support totaling $180,376, or an average of $8,198 per child.
“We have been working with the county attorney to get these parents into court and take care of their responsibility. We are hoping these parents use this tool they are being given and reach out to take care of their obligation,” Sergeant Brown said.
The Amnesty Period has the support of local judges, prosecutors, and the Trigg County circuit court clerk.
“We have talked with each judge and prosecutor, and all of them are on board with this initiative. We want this to be a way to clear the backlog of court cases and reduce the number of active warrants while at the same time allow the citizens a chance to honor their civic duty and complete the legal process,” Sergeant Brown said.
A list of those persons with active warrants and summonses will appear on the Cadiz Police Department web page (www.cadizpolice.com) April 21. A list will also appear in The Cadiz Record newspaper on April 23. Those people who have an active paper are asked to come to the Cadiz Police Department (11 Marion St.) between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. April 23 – 25 to be served their court paper.
Chief Grace said there are some parameters and guidelines that will be followed. They include:
• The court papers are for offenses that occurred in Trigg County only.
• If a person has outstanding warrants in other counties in addition to Trigg County, the Cadiz Police are obligated to arrest them on those warrants. They will still be given a court date for the Trigg County charges.
• Not all warrants and summonses have identifiers such as dates of birth on them. You can contact the Cadiz Police Department and ask them to verify identifiers on the warrant to see if they match.
• All persons need to bring their most current picture ID to the police department before paper service.
• It is unnecessary for multiple family members to accompany the person to the police department while being served.
• When the Amnesty Period ends at 6 p.m. on April 25, all warrants again become active and those persons are subject to arrest.
• If another police agency makes contact with that person during the Amnesty Period, they are subject to arrest.
“This is the first time this has been attempted in Trigg County. If this program is successful, we will look at a future date to try this again,” said Chief Grace.
This press release was submitted by Sergeant Scott Brown of the Cadiz Police Department.