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Court prodding people to pay tickets

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BATON ROUGE - The 19th Judicial District Court spent nearly $600,000 more than it took in last year, it's why they're hoping more people will pay outstanding ticket fines to help make up the difference.

The court has millions of dollars worth of outstanding tickets on file and now thinks a new program will get more people to pay quicker.

"Two to three weeks after a court date has passed, they will receive a small card that informs them there's a bench warrant out for their arrest, it tells them the amount of the ticket and how to go about paying it," said Ann McCrory, the Judicial Administrator for the courthouse.

The card is generated automatically, which saves time and money. The court has used the program since September of last year and since has already seen more people paying tickets.

"A lot of people lose track of their court date, lose track of their ticket, it's just not on their mind, but when it says you may be arrested at your place of work or your home, it gets their attention, they don't want to take that risk, they want to come in and clear it up," said McCrory.

The court is also cutting overtime across the board to limit spending in that category and hopes to plan a special event that could allow people with tickets to pay easier with the possibility of an amnesty program.

If you'd like to see if you currently have a bench warrant visit EBRSO.org and follow the instructions on the sheriff's website.

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