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Amnesty Day held in Joplin helps citizens clear up warrants - KOAM TV 7

Amnesty Day held in Joplin helps citizens clear up warrants

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More than 100 residents with outstanding warrants took advantage of Amnesty Day today at the Joplin municipal courts.

Officials say 113 residents showed up and 220 warrants were cleared.

Amnesty Day is a day to come clean.  If you have an outstanding warrant, all you have to do is go to court, make an appearance in front of the judge, agree to pay a fine or do community service, and your warrant is cleared.

Timothy Adamson is an inmate at the Joplin jail and he says he wished he would have gone to Amnesty Day.

For the next week Adamson has to sweep outside of the Joplin municipal courts while spending time in jail.

"Last year I got a Driving While Suspended and I went to court for it and they gave me a fine," Adamson says.  "I never paid it and they gave my community service - 75 hours.  And I just never did it and never bothered dealing with it, and on the 11th I got arrested for it.  I got a warrant issued and on the 11th they arrested me for it."

Joplin currently has 4,500 warrants out, a reason why the Joplin Police Department says this day was important.

"An opportunity to come in and have warrants cleared without being arrested," says Corporal Chuck Niess of the Joplin Police Department.  "If their license is suspended for a warrant, which does happen, then they're able to get their license reinstated."

The Joplin courts have been doing Amnesty Day for a few years now and it has been proven to be successful.  In 2011 about 114 citizens showed up and about 220 warrants were cleared.

"It's just a benefit to the citizens and the community because it gets rid of the warrants and helps people pay their fines which is the goal of the court," says Corporal Niess.

Corporal Niess says he hopes more residents show up in the future.

"Take care of your obligations and if you think you're not guilty, you still have your chance at a day in court - you just need to show up," says Corporal Niess.

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