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Council OKs municipal court ordinance

ELKINS — Elkins City Council has passed the first reading of an ordinance that will implement administrative reinstatement fees to be collected by Elkins Municipal Court.

“Last legislative session, the legislature passed House Bill 4958, which made substantial changes with regard to matters that come before municipal courts, magistrate courts and circuit courts with regard to suspending drivers licenses nor nonpayment of court fees, fines and costs,” City Attorney Geraldine Roberts said during a recent council meeting. “You can no longer suspend someone’s driver’s license.”

Roberts said, in order to come into compliance with the new law, the municipal court had to adopt the new ordinance. It gives the municipal court the capability to set up repayment plans for fines and court costs, and to add a late fee for failure to make payments on time.

The ordinance will authorize the Municipal Court to collect the following fees related to a payment plan for fines issued by the court. Fees to be collected are: a repayment plan administrative fee of $25 when a defendant is enrolled in a payment plan, and a late fee of $10 for each 30-day period a defendant is in default on the payment plan. The late fees shall not exceed $30 regardless of the number of days that the defendant is in default.

Council passed the first reading of the ordinance and will have to pass two more readings before it can be implemented.

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