Shelby County looks to collect old court debt - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Shelby County looks to collect old court debt

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Shelby County commissioners are taking a tip from Texas and want the General Assembly to allow the county to act more aggressively to collect court fees and fines.

In Dallas County, Texas, stronger payment enforcement as well as a community service program that allows people to work off debts has helped the county collect about 88 percent of all fines and fees owed to the courts.

Shelby County is faced with deep budget pressures and officials hope to recover even a fraction of the $417 million in outstanding court fines, fees and taxes.

The County Commission will consider this week a resolution asking the General Assembly to change the law to give courts more ability to collect fines and fees. Another proposal suggests a new court division to oversee collections or paying judges an incentive for collecting debt.


(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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