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Union Co. Supervisors’ 7-2-18 meeting: Collecting past due fines

Union Co. Supervisors' 7-2-18 Ken Duncan, of Gila, LLC, discusses collecting past due fines. Larissa Edwards in background.

The Union County Board of Supervisors heard of a plan to collect past due Justice Court fines at the board’s Monday, July 2, meeting.

Ken Duncan, representing the firm Gila, LLC, told the supervisors his company would work to collect past due Justice Court fines, “without it costing the county anything.” Duncan said his company would keep a part of the collected money as its compensation.

Duncan told the board that his company employs people who make phone calls attempting to collect past due fines. He said the telephone calls are made from Austin, TX, and that his company was careful to follow all federal and state rules pertaining to collections practices. He said his callers might mention the possibility of driver’s licenses being suspended if fines are not paid.

The board took the collection proposal “under advisement” to be sure that there was no remaining contractual obligation to a collection agency that was previously authorized to collected past due fines.

Uncollected Justice Court fines are a perennial problem in most (if not all) Mississippi counties. Statutory and procedural restrictions limit the abilities of the state’s Justice Courts to collect fines and court costs assessed by Justice Court judges. In fact, last year the Mississippi Department of Public Safety said it would no longer suspend driver’s licenses for failure to pay fines. The state took that action in response to a threatened lawsuit by the Southern Poverty Law Center and the MacArthur Justice Center.

Here’s a link to a story about the same subject, which posted a little more than two years ago, March 2016.

The county board also conducted its routine business such as paying the bills, approving minutes of prior meetings, approving normal fees to be paid to county officials, etc.

The county board will meet again on Monday, July 16.

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