Claremore Daily Progress

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October 7, 2012

County due $110,000 in uncollected fines

Court Clerk Czapansky not filing driver’s license suspensions since January 2012

CLAREMORE — Rogers County Court Clerk Candi Czapansky is facing tough questions in light of a recent discovery that her office has not been properly filing driver license suspensions according to state statute.

The biggest problem is in the area of traffic violations in which people do not show up for an assigned court date or fail to pay a fine associated with misdemeanor offenses.
More than 400 offenders have failed to appear or pay in Rogers County between  Jan. 1 through Aug. 2012, according to the Oklahoma State Court Network, OSCN. 
At a minimum fine of approximately $200 plus court costs of an estimated $75 each, this adds up to approximately $110,000 in uncollected fines.
The failure to pay or failure to appear issues cost taxpayers thousands each year as court cost are not recovered when fines are not paid.
Additionally, offenders face no real consequence for crimes like speeding, however if their driver license is suspended as mandated under state statute it brings more accountability to those individuals, according to local law enforcement officers.
Czapansky said there were a number of reasons why her office has not followed the statute for the past two years. 
“There is a procedure in the computer that can be followed to send out a letter to notify people that fail to appear that their license could be suspended,” she said.
Czapansky said that time restrictions from the date the issuance of a ticket is part of the reason the statute has not been followed.
Additionally, computer issues have been a contributing factor, she said.
For example, Czapansky said that sometimes suspensions do not get lifted when the fine is paid or that paperwork was sent to the wrong county from the state office.
However, these issues occurred when the computer system was first launched a few years ago, according to Czapansky.

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