Jackson Mississippi Mayor: Pay Your Fines or Lose Your Car

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
jackson mississippi mayor pay your fines or lose your car

The Jacksn Clarion Ledger reports that Mayor Frank Melton's plan to impound the vehicles of motorists with past-due city fines– designed to scarf-up some $10m in "missing" revenue– is running into strong political and practical headwinds. First, the Captain of the Hinds County Sheriff's Departmenthas publicly declared that he will do anything to enforce the law– but he won't do that. "We'll still be participating in a joint operation to serve misdemeanor warrants," Capt. Ken Magee said. "But as far as going to a person's home and towing their vehicle? No. We're not going to do that." Second, as University of Mississippi law professor Michael Hoffheimer points out, the campaign faces the law of severely diminished returns. "There are things cities can do to collect fines that are legal," he said. "But the problem is they are also expensive." And lastly, the Mayor's decision to target "high dollar" cars first will win him no friends amongst the cities movers and shakers– even if they are scofflaws.

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  • Quasimondo Quasimondo on Sep 19, 2007

    So what do they take if you have no car to give up?

  • Yankinwaoz Yankinwaoz on Sep 19, 2007

    In Australia they suspend your driver's license. Example: If you are caught on public transport without a ticket, you get a fine. Some people give the cops fake info, like their "friend's" name and address, when busted for no train ticket. Then a few months later the poor sap who had his license suspended for failure to appear (or pay) for the train ticket infraction ends up loosing his car for driving on a suspended license. It is then up to the driver to prove to the court that he/she was not on the train at the time of the infraction. This actually happened to a coworker of mine. Took months to clear up. Fortunatly for him at the time of the infraction he was at a concert with his girlfriend and had ticket stubs, photographs, and his GF's testimony to back up his alibi. Still cost him a lot of money on legal fees and fines to get his license and his car back. No idea who the train guy was that started all this.

  • Landcrusher Landcrusher on Sep 19, 2007

    I like the high dollar thing. Houston Police started ticketing high dollar cars leaving downtown a few years ago. I can only assume it was to punish the movers and shakers into demanding the end of ticket quotas. Never found out if it worked though.

  • Yankinwaoz Yankinwaoz on Sep 19, 2007

    BTW... doesn't the Denver Boot do a pretty good job of getting scofflaws to pay up?