District courts offer temporary waiver program


The Kent County Courthouse is a landmark in downtown Grand Rapids. Photo by Johnny Quirin

A county district court has announced a short-term program that waives the possibility of incarceration for those with certain types of outstanding warrants for debts to the court.

Kent County district courts jointly announced last week a waiver program for anyone with outstanding criminal and/or traffic warrants for noncompliance with a court order of fines, fees, court costs and any outstanding traffic and/or parking tickets that have gone into default or suspension.

The waiver will be in effect from Oct. 1 through Oct. 31 for eligible individuals through the 59th District Court of Grandville/Walker, 61st District Court in Grand Rapids, 62-A District Court of Wyoming, 62-B District Court in Kentwood and 63rd District Court of Kent County.

The waivers will guarantee those who make payment in full will not be incarcerated. The courts also will waive court-imposed late fees and/or warrant fees except for the $45 driver’s license suspension reinstatement fees.

“This waiver program allows individuals with certain warrants and/or outstanding tickets an opportunity to start fresh with reasonable cost, while avoiding jail time and/or additional driver’s license sanctions,” said 62-B District Court Judge William Kelly.

“We see this as a great opportunity to not only alleviate a burden on those facing the possibility of jail time, additional driver’s license sanctions, collections and/or mounting court costs, but also on court and jail staff, as well as taxpayers for having to house inmates for nonviolent violations.”

Individuals can avoid jail if they make a significant payment with an approved payment plan to pay off the remaining balance. Their suspension will be lifted after the balance is paid in full. If the individual fails to follow the payment plan, the court will reissue the warrant.

Courts will accept cash, money orders or cashier’s checks but no personal checks or mailed-in cash.

For more information about making payments, contact the 59th District Court-Grandville/Walker at (616) 538-9660 or (616) 453-5765, the 61st District Court-Grand Rapids at (616) 632-5700, the 62-A District Court-Wyoming at (616) 257-9814, the 62-B District Court-Kentwood at (616) 698-9310 or the 63rd District Court-Kent County at (616) 632-7770.

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