District Judge Chaney Taylor said he is extending an opportunity for those with outstanding warrants for unpaid fines to help resolve their cases in Independence County until May 29.
Taylor said if a person has an outstanding warrant for unpaid fines, he/she may appear at the district court lobby, via Zoom videoconference, and will not be arrested on the warrant, provided the person sign and agree to be bound by a monthly payment agreement. Plus, the person must provide his/her current contact information (address, phone, e-mail, and employer).
The judge went on to say that in the event a person is able to pay a lump sum in an amount equal to one-half of his/her total fines owed, the remaining fine balance may be cleared.
Taylor made it clear that the offer is only for previously incurred fines or completed cases in which a failure to pay warrant was issued — and it is not for pending charges or violations.
The judge also said that Independence County District Court will begin re-opening for in-person proceedings beginning on Wednesday, May 20. Judge Taylor’s court will convene each Wednesday thereafter. He noted that it will be subject to the Arkansas Supreme Court Phase One building entry guidelines.
According to Taylor, people with district court business will be allowed to appear for first appearances, pleas, arraignments, and trials. He said accommodations for Zoom videoconference appearances may be made for those who wish to do so.
All the usual safeguards will be exercised and will include temperature screening; social distancing; completing a questionnaire regarding health and recent travel; and limiting no more than 10 people in the lobby or courtroom at one time.
Visitors are advised to wear masks and wash hands. Hand sanitizer will be available.
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