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Hartselle contracts company to collect court fines

By Deangelo McDaniel 340-2469

HARTSELLE — Calling it a win-win situation for Hartselle, a unanimous City Council voted Tuesday night to sign a contract with a Georgia-based company that will change how violators pay municipal court fines.

Beginning March 1, Judicial Correction Services will collect fines that are ordered through the court.

"Let me see — zero," Kevin Egan with Judicial Correction Services said when asked how much the service will cost the city.

The company will make its money by adding a $35 fee to each fine that is not paid off in seven days.

The fee can add up if the fine isn't paid.

"This is $35 per month," Egan said.

"I don't see how we can lose by using them," Council President Kenny Thompson said. "This seems like it's going to be a good thing for the city."

City Attorney Larry Madison and Municipal Court Judge Mike Broom endorsed using the company.

Falkville and Somerville already use Judicial Correction Services.

"It's been a great asset for their court systems," Madison said.

Hartselle, like most municipalities, has about a 45 percent success rate of getting people to pay court fines. Egan said his company can up that to about 85 percent.

"That's money for the city," he said. "We're not a counseling organization, but we work with these people. Sometimes it's a matter of getting them to change their priorities."

Egan said Judicial Correction Services will have an office in Hartselle.

"We'll start setting that up right away," he said.

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