A New Jersey city is now taking advantage of a law that allows municipal courts to take a page out of the private sector.
According to The News of Cumberland County, Bridgeton has become the first N.J. city to turn to an outside collection agency to target delinquent residents who have not yet paid fines.
Now that a New Jersey city is using a collection agency, what do you think of the law? How are delinquent fines handled in your city?Tell us in the comments below.
“It does no good for the judge to impose fines if the offender is never compelled to pay them, so we’ve decided it’s time to lead the way in this new approach,” Mayor Albert Kelly told The News of Cumberland County in a story published Monday.
According to documents from the state supreme court, the law “…permits the governing body of the municipality or county to authorize the assessment of a fee by a private collection agency or firm, not to exceed 22 percent of the amount collected…”
In Bridgeton, city officials tell The News of Cumberland County the amount of fines owed to the city totals more than $3 million.
The law states that the only municipal court cases that can be sent to a private collection agency are those “…where the municipal court has made a final determination of guilt, the municipal court has exhausted all judicial enforcement remedies, and the Administrative Director of the Courts has authorized private collection.”
Text from the law can be viewed on the Supreme Court of New Jersey website.