SMITH COUNTY (KYTX)- The results are in for the Great Texas Warrant Round Up and Smith County topped $90,000 in reclaimed court fines and fees, closing out 273 outstanding cases during the two-week campaign.
Smith County joined forces with more than 300 other jurisdictions across Texas to participate in the largest joint warrant round up in the state. Anyone who owed a court fine or fee in one of the participating districts had until March 1 to pay before officers were dispatched to find and arrest them.
"Smith County Judicial Compliance Supervisor Sheryl Keel says her phones started ringing as soon as the Round Up began, and it took the combined efforts of the Justice of the Peace courts, County Clerk's office, the Sheriff's office, Constables' offices, Pre-Trial Release and outside collections law firm Perdue Brandon Fielder Collins & Mott working together to coordinate this large-scale collection she said."
"We made great efforts to contact everyone who owes a court fee in Smith County, and encouraged them to pay their fines before they experienced the embarrassment of being picked up by law enforcement officers at their work or home," she said.
Anyone owing an outstanding fine in Smith County was sent a notice in February. They were offered a chance to pay their balance without penalty of arrest before March 1. Officials say the program was a great success for the tax payers of Smith County.
"We recaptured $90,000 that belongs to the citizens of this County. That is $90,000 that can be put back into roads, facilities and services for the citizens," Precinct 2 County Commissioner Cary Nix said.
Keel said that the Round Up may be over but that her office, the Smith County Warrants Division and the Sheriff's office work every day to track down and collect from those who owe the County. There are still many cases to close she said.
Check to see if you or someone you know owes unpaid court costs or fines online at www.smith-county.com or by calling the Smith County Collections Department at 903-590-4624.