Disappointed By Criminal Court Clerks’ Uncollected Fees - And Response

Friday, July 11, 2014

I recently read an article that Gwen Tidwell has $50 million of uncollected fees. That is absolutely mind boggling. So you’re telling me that $50 million of court ordered fees have just fallen by the wayside?  

Also, what happens to the folks who do not pay their fines? One of would have to imagine that the inability to collect fines gives leniency to people who break the law.   

Even more disappointing is the fact that Mrs. Tidwell has just recently hired an outside debt collection firm to recover these fines just as election season rolls around.  

I do not support any candidate is this race, but come on folks, this is a complete lack of management from this office, and a change seems necessary.

Bill Murrow 

* * * 

Mr. Murrow, 

The fact is that the people who owe money to criminal court are people convicted of crimes.  They aren't the type of people who normally follow the rules and pay their debts.   

In addition, those in jail are charged $56 per day every day they're in jail and hundreds of people are in and out local jail every day.   

Furthermore there's the issue that the law forbids that a person be jailed for the failure to pay their court costs.  As a result they are in our jail building at a debt at $56/day, unemployed, and unemployable when they get out.  They aren't the type of people who own homes or other assets, a fact.   

The fact is that Ms. Tidwell is the first Criminal Court clerk to attempt to collect these amounts and because of this she will save the county taxpayers millions of dollars over time.  If you want the criminals to pay their bills you need to find a better class of criminal. 

Mark M. Schmissrauter
Hamilton County Resident

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