GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - The 61st District Court is offering to waive default fees for overdue parking and traffic ticket fines.
The City of Grand Rapids issued nearly $2 million in civil infraction ticket fines last year alone. Most people pay their tickets, but some don't.
The City is owed a total of $1.3 million in unpaid civil infraction traffic tickets. Another $662,000 is owed on unpaid parking tickets that have gone into default.
In an effort to recoup some of that cash, the court is offering to waive the $40-per-case default fee if offenders will pay their fines in full.
61st District Court Administrator Gary Secor said it is extremely unlikely that the city will recover the entire amount of unpaid ticket fines, but the city still stands to bring in quite a bit of money.
"I would be ecstatic if we could recover even 5% of that. That is a significant amount of money. $50,000 in revenue that we would not have normally. If we could even recover 10%, that would be great," Secor said.
Besides bringing in cash, the city is working to clear a new glut of parking cases. A new state law says licenses will not be renewed if drivers have three unpaid parking tickets. That used to be six, so more cases are showing up in court.
Secor said this isn't an amnesty program.
"It's not an amnesty program because we are not dismissing anything, I mean nothing is going away. The parking and the traffic tickets are still there. What we are doing is we are actually waiving some fees," he explained.
Those fees are implemented by the court in default cases -- some from as much as seven years ago.
The program is in effect until Oct. 1. Those who participate will have to pay in person at the Kent County Courthouse or by phone with a credit card. Online payments will not be accepted.
Misdemeanor traffic offenses -- like drunk driving, for example -- are not eligible for the program. Additionally, $45 license suspension reinstatement fees will not be waived.
61st District Court traffic/parking tickets waiver program details
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