Anyone who is late paying off their fines or fees to the City of Greenville Municipal Court will find the price tag has gone up, a lot.

The Greenville City Council recently amended the city’s Code of Ordinances, adding the new Section 12.02.003, which authorizes the addition of a collection fee by the Municipal Court on those cases which are referred to a collection attorney.

Later this month, the Council intends to award a contract to the law firm of Perdue, Brandon, Fielder, Collins and Mott, recruiting the company to act as the collection agency in order to collect more than $2 million in past due fines and fees which are owed the city.

Prior to the vote last Tuesday, Council member Bryan Herrin said the move is expected to hurt scofflaws right in the pocket book.

“What we are telling people is that if you don’t pay your ticket, you are going to have to pay more in the end, and face more criminal charges,” Herrin said.

The City of Greenville did have a contract with another company, but when the City of Greenville Municipal Court transitioned to a new software system about three years ago, the company was unable to access the files regarding fines and court costs.

Under the proposed contract, the law firm would be able to add a 30 percent collection fee on all outstanding cases with offenses which occurred on or after June 18, 2003, the effective date of the state legislation which allows cities to begin assessing the fee.

“The 30 percent they are going to be paid is going to be tacked on to the $200 fine for speeding,” said Council member Glen Steed.

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