'Clean Slate' Amnesty Program

, Written by Lyle Ahrens, Posted: Tue, March 27 2012 at 4:44 PM, Updated: Tue, March 27 2012 at 4:59 PM

If you have an unpaid fine with the Klamath County Justice Court, a 'clean slate' amnesty program could save you some money.

Klamath County Justice of the Peace Karen Oakes says the amnesty program applies to fines that have been turned over to a collection agency...

"From April 1st through June 30th, we're offering a 25% reduction across the board for folks that pay their violations in full."

Oakes notes that the amnesty does not apply to those with cases before Klamath Falls municipal court, or Klamath County circuit court...

"My court deals with traffic violations, animal control citations, code enforcement violations."  But, those 'little' violations can add up.  "We have 2200 defendants that have been turned over to Carter-Jones, and those 2200 defendants owe approximately 910 thousand dollars."

Carter-Jones Collection Agency will manage the program, and Oakes notes that those paying traffic citations will get an added benefit - their driving privileges restored.

"When someone doesn't pay a fine, and it's for a traffic violation, one of the results is that their driver's license gets suspended."

Oakes believes it's the right time to help defendants get back on their feet during tough economic times...

"This is the first time that Klamath County Justice Court has offered an amnesty program."

And a chance for many to get a 'clean slate'.

And here's the 'fine print':  The 25% discount applies to the total amount owed, including principal, interest, and collection costs.  The fines must be paid in full, no payment plans will be offered.


About the Author

Lyle Ahrens

KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970's.  He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.

Lyle's job history is quite colorful.  He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand.  A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90's as a news writer and commercial producer.  In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.

Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience.  "The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain.  Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story".

When he's not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.

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