St. Louis is rolling out a new incentive program that combines warrant forgiveness and COVID-19 vaccines. Thanks to a partnership between the city of St. Louis, the circuit attorney’s office and the courts, the city's upcoming Warrant Forgiveness Days on August 27 and August 28 will feature on-site vaccinations — and, for those vaccinated, credit toward their court fees.
The upcoming event marks the fourth time St. Louis Circuit Court will be available to help those with warrants. Residents who have a warrant with the circuit court are advised to call 314-641-8214 to make sure they are eligible for warrant forgiveness before they show up at the event, which will run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The circuit court will only host the event on August 27, while the municipal court will operate both days.
Currently, there are approximately 138,000 warrants on the municipal court docket, and 2,000 up for consideration on the circuit court’s. Warrant Forgiveness Days allow those with warrants to set up a different court date or handle their charges on the spot without fear of arrest. The offer is extended only to those with nonviolent offenses.
Vaccinations will also be available on-site for those who choose to get the shot.
“These events will help participants get right with the law and get right with their health,” Mayor Tishaura Jones said in a press release. “We have to work together to protect public health and public safety, and I’m grateful to the courts for their leadership on this issue.”
The municipal court even takes Warrant Forgiveness Days a step further with an incentive for those who are vaccinated. With valid proof of vaccination, the municipal court offers “favorable consideration for up to $100 off any existing fines and court costs,” according to a press release from the mayor’s office.
According to a press release on August 26, the St. Louis Treasurer Adam Layne's office is adding another offer for those vaccinated on-site: up to $100 toward parking penalties and ticket fines. The newly vaccinated will receive $50 for their first shot and then will have to submit their card to the Parking Violations Bureau for another $50 when they receive their second shot.
Administrative city court judge Newton McCoy said the courts are happy to offer this program. McCoy also added the court is "also pleased" to encourage vaccination with the incentive to reduce fines and court costs.
"In the midst of the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, City Court is pleased to support our public safety mission and Mayor Jones’ initiatives to promote vaccination by offering our Warrant Forgiveness Days program, along with the opportunity for residents to receive a COVID-19 vaccine at the same time,” McCoy said in a statement.
Participants should bring a valid photo ID, phone, and provide a valid email address if they have one. Along with the warrant service and vaccine stations, the event will also feature family-friendly activities, including food trucks and city departments offering on-site rental assistance.
Follow Jenna on Twitter at @writesjenna. Email the author at [email protected]
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