News from the Tennessee Valley State, Local and National news
SUNDAY, APRIL 15, 2007

Athens needs 2 dates to handle citations for junk, littering

By Holly Hollman · 340-2445

ATHENS — Athens police have written so many citations for litter, weeds and junk vehicles that Municipal Court had to schedule two court dates to handle the cases.

Angie Paule, a court clerk, said officers are averaging 20 citations a day.

On April 2, at the behest of the City Council, police stopped issuing warnings and starting a blitz of writing clean-community-related citations. In the first week, police issued 104 citations. People who received them had five days to clean their property to avoid a court appearance.

Don’t think citations for clean-community offenses are serious? Paule said police have issued six arrest warrants for those who have not complied and missed the first court date.

So how many are cleaning versus going to court?

Paule said the first court date was April 12.

Six people paid before that date, which means they cleaned their property within the five days.

Paule said 11 people paid in court and just as many pleaded not guilty and will go to trial May 12.

The court dismissed cases against two people who proved the violations were on other people’s property.

The second court day is May 10.

“We have about 150 to 200 citations we’re sorting through for that day,” Paule said Friday.

If owners clean their property within the five days and get an officer to re-inspect and sign off on the condition, then those owners have until the day before that court day to pay the fines and court costs.

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