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The City of Oklahoma City is giving you an opportunity to do a reset on those OKC citations (tickets) 2 years old or older and pay the fine as if you had paid it on time.

The program will be available Monday, July 1 through March 31, 2020.

But, you have to come to the Municipal courthouse at 700 Couch Drive to get that done.

Some people are just afraid to walk into a court building even if they have a simple parking ticket. And so, sometimes fear takes over and citations are allowed to transform into larger and larger problems, racking up hundreds of dollars in fines.

reduced penalty
Presiding OKC Municipal Judge Philippa James. (file photo, 2017) Brett Dickerson/Okla City Free Press

If they walk in that building on their own, they are NOT going to be arrested. We are going to help them get that ticket resolved,” Judge Philippa James told Free Press about the program.

She is the presiding judge for the City of Oklahoma City, the judge in charge of the rest of the municipal judges.

“I promise they will not get arrested if they walk in our building voluntarily,” Judge James said. “As soon as you walk in that building, your case is going to get resolved.”

Free Press covered the opening of the new courthouse in 2017, built with many features that help citizens who have to go there.

One of the many features was to place the windows for paying fines and resolving tickets in the lobby of the courthouse outside of the security checkpoint, vastly speeding up the process compared to the old municipal courthouse across the street.

And, with this program, you will not have to go before a judge.

Judge James said that once the City Council passed their resolution June 18, she signed a judicial order that allows court clerks and other staff to go ahead and process the reduced payment of the fine.

Get license back

One part of this program is to help people get their driver’s license back so they can find a job or get their old job back.

When tickets go unpaid and warrants go out, the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety will suspend your right to drive.

But, this program allows you to resolve that.

“If the license is suspended because they owe us some money, then part of the process is there’s a letter, it’s called a release letter, that we give them to take to DPS,” said James.

If you cannot pay

But, if you cannot afford to pay even that fine, you can ask to see a judge and explain your financial circumstances. The judge will then determine your ability to pay.

It is a feature of the OKC municipal courts that Judge James instituted when she first became the presiding judge. While serving as a regular municipal judge, James had seen how poverty could compound the problems people have with the law when they could not pay fines.

Councilman’s idea

Judge James was quick to credit Ward 8 Councilman Mark Stonecipher for pushing the idea along since 2018.

“It really was Councilman Stonecipher’s idea,” she said. “He pitched this idea to us months ago. Really, he started pitching it in 2018.”

Details

Call (405) 297-3898 (8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays) or visit the Municipal Court Customer Service Window, 701 Couch Drive, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day but holidays to pay the ticket or request a hearing about financial difficulties. You can also visit okc.gov/court for an online payment link and other details. Two Spanish-language ambassadors are available.

Not sure if you have a ticket still showing up in the system? Try looking up your name in the city’s Traffic and Criminal Case Search.