City trying to collect on 300K in fines

Published 11:12 pm Monday, November 3, 2003

By By JOHN DILMORE JR. Publisher
The City of Brewton is working to collect on almost $300,000 in outstanding fines that have been building up over a period of 17 years.
The fines were handed down by the city's municipal court over that period -- some for traffic violations, some for other types of offenses. In some cases, partial payments were made but balances never cleared up. In still others, entire fine amounts have been ignored by those to whom they were issued.
The number of the uncollected fines became apparent around the first of October, when the city closed it municipal court -- rolling it into the county system -- and began the process clearing the books of old court business.
Brewton Director of Community development Pete Dierno said that anyone who owes a fine amount to the city may find themselves behind bars.
The city has gone through the Department of Public Safety to have the licenses suspended for 283 of the 504 traffic-related defendants. The other 221 defendants didn't have licenses to suspend -- either they were already suspended or no license was on file for them at all.
All those with outstanding fines -- traffic and otherwise -- have been sent letters by the city, Diurno said.
The exact amount of the uncollected fines is $299,911.70.
Of that, $201,093 is made up of traffic fines, and $98,818.70 is made up of other types of fines.
The past due traffic-related fines are made up of 504 defendants who were involved in 797 cases. The other past due fines are made up of 467 defendants involved in 662 cases.