More than 1,350 arrest warrants on the list

54B District Court continues to offer amnesty to Qualifying Defendants

East Lansing's 54-B District Court is offering to cancel bench warrants issued prior to May 21, 2013 for the arrest of individuals who have failed to pay fines and costs ordered by the court.

Currently the court is holding more than 1,350 arrest warrants issued for defendants who failed to appear in court to explain why they failed to pay. Those defendants named in currently outstanding bench warrants in public files can be found by visiting www.54bdistrictcourt.com and clicking on the "Amnesty Program" web button.

The court will cancel the arrest warrant and reduce the amount due for those defendants who respond to the court's offer by no later than July 12, 2013. Defendants must pay the full balance of fines and costs due after reduction.

For those who fail to pay, the bench warrant for their arrest will remain active in the Law Enforcement Information Network and he/she will be subject to arrest if stopped by a law enforcement officer for a traffic violation anywhere in the state. The defendant named in the bench warrant may be placed in custody and transported to the 54-B District Court.

A defendant named in a bench warrant may come to the court Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. or contact the court by phone at (517) 351-7000. If all outstanding fines and costs are paid in full, after reduction, the court will:

* Recall and cancel the arrest warrant

* Waive one 20 percent late penalty if assessed (not all cases have this assessment)

* Waive one $25 warrant fee if assessed (not all files have a warrant fee)

The court accepts cash, cashier's checks, VISA and MasterCard. Personal checks will not be accepted. All bench warrants issued on or after May 22, 2013 will be charged a warrant fee of $50 and are not subject to this amnesty program.

Those who are financially unable to pay outstanding fines and costs may request a payment plan. A Petition for Payment Plan may be completed at www.54bdistrictcourt.com. All information must be entered and a recommendation will be made to the judge. Amnesty will not apply, but if the court approves a payment plan, the bench warrant will be recalled and canceled so long as the defendant complies with the payment plan. A minimum payment of $25 against fines is due with the Petition for Payment Plan or it will be denied.

The amnesty period ends July 12, 2013.

Published: Thu, Jun 27, 2013