Pittsburg County Court Clerk Using To Facebook To Collect Late Fees
PITTSBURG COUNTY, Oklahoma - Nearly $7 million in unpaid court costs are owed in Pittsburg County; to get the late fees paid, the county clerk is using Facebook.
They hope the new social strategy not only brings in the unpaid fees but also keeps people out of jail.
The Pittsburg County Court Clerk's office is a busy place; it’s where all the district court records are kept.
“It's also to collect money for the state,” Court Clerk Cindy Ledford said.
The office is also where court costs are paid. And another arm of the office helps out in the community.
“Every year we adopt a family and buy gifts,” Ledford said.
This year, 23 children will have Christmas thanks to Ledford and the folks who work alongside her.
“It has just grown over the years,” she said.
The office does a lot for the community regardless of the season, which is partly why Ledford started the Pittsburg County Court Clerk's Office Facebook page.
But, she also decided social media would be a good way to get people to take care of unpaid court fines.
“We send letters and most of them come back undeliverable. We have phone numbers, most of them don't work,” she said.
So, for the past few months Ledford has been posting to Facebook the names of people who have active arrest warrants for failure pay their fees.
The court clerk said, so far, the response has been positive with only one compliant.
“I'm not doing it to humiliate anybody and I don't want anybody to go to jail,” she said.
Ledford said she just wants people to do what they promised they would in the court of law.
“Pay your fines and court costs on time and you won't be on social media,” she said.
The clerk said she will work with anyone on unpaid fines to keep them from being arrested or having to pay more.
Thanks to the Facebook posts, the office has collected $5,200.