Criminal Court Clerk Vince Dean said a computer glitch that caused some letters to go out to certain residents saying they owed money has been fixed.
He said, "Yesterday a local news report was given regarding letters that had been sent out from a vendor that our Delinquent Collections Division uses. A computer glitch resulted in several people receiving letters that stated they owed our office money. Some of these letters were sent in error, as a result of that computer glitch. We have corrected the computer issue and can assure everyone that our office has an entire division available to address their concerns. In the news report, we have identified several things that we feel must be addressed or clarified. I will attempt to address them in the order that they were reported.
1- For clarification, the practice of using third party collection agencies has been in place for several years. These collection agencies are used to collect unpaid fines ordered by the judges. Several Hamilton County offices use collection agencies to collect their unpaid bills.
2- It was reported that some people may have to pay their fines twice. That is absolutely wrong. No one will have to pay their fines twice, period.
3- As the elected Criminal Court Clerk, I have the fiduciary responsibility to the citizens of Hamilton County to insure that all monies owed the court are paid.
4- It was reported that some people are being charged twice. Again, that is totally incorrect. No one is being charged twice, period.
5- While receipts would certainly be the simplest way to prove that payment has already been made, we have an entire division dedicated to this that can research and verify that payment was made. So no one should worry if they don’t have a receipt. We realize that most people would not have a receipt from three decades ago.
6- It was reported that the gentleman used in the news story did not know what to do next. Since neither the news reporter nor the report clarified that for him, let me assure him that in his case, he does not have to do anything. His account was paid on Wednesday, May 13th, 1992. I have spoken with him personally and advised him of such.
7- It was also reported that each day anyone waits additional money is being added to their tickets. That is totally false. The only additional fee assessed would have already been added when the delinquent amount was given to the third party vendor. In the gentleman’s case that was interviewed, there would be no additional "money" added, based on the fact that he does not owe us anything at present.
8- Finally, my name is Vince Dean, not Vice Dean as shown during the newscast.
"I would again ask that anyone who feels they received a letter stating they owe delinquent fines, PLEASE call our delinquent collections division at (423) 209-6875. Our office can verify if you were sent a letter in error. Some of the letters sent from MSB Collection agency are valid and should be treated as such. None of the letters are a SCAM as has been suspected. If you feel that you received a letter in error, there is no reason to be alarmed. For any other concerns about this issue, please feel free to call our office."