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Court payments part of round-up

By Staff
Staff Reports, Hartselle Enquirer
A new wrinkle is being added to the District Attorney's Office Bad Check Roundup. Next month, not only will bad check writers be targeted, but so will those who owe court-ordered payments.
"It is our hope to make these cases a regular part of our roundups," DA Bob Burrell said. "We intend to get the message out that a debt to our state's court system is not like a consumer debt; the consequences for non-payment are far more harsh. Court ordered payments in criminal cases are ordered for a reason and will not be ignored. A failure to collect these debts represents a failure of our system of justice itself."
Collection of the debts is done through restitution warrants and will take place in all the jurisdictions, including Hartselle, taking part in the program.
Burrell said while the restitution warrants will be only a small part of the program this time, but expects them to increase in the future. The main target, however, will be rounding up bad check writers.
Bad check writers are given until Aug. 19 to pay the DA's Worthless Check Unit or face arrest.
"We are putting them on a short leash," Burrell said. "Those that don't get square with us in the next couple of weeks can plead their case to a judge."
The Morgan County Sheriff's Department, Hartselle Police Department and Decatur Police Department will be assisting the DA's worthless check unit in the roundup. The unit is currently working to locate fugitive check writers and revisiting stale cases.
The last roundup garnered some $60,000 for local merchants.