Thousands of people in the Clarksville, Tennessee, area received surprise notices in the mail that their licenses have been revoked because records show they have not paid court fines and fees dating back to 2012.
A total of 14,223 notices were sent out at the end of April after the Montgomery County notified the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security that those people failed to pay litigation taxes, court costs or fines assessed by Montgomery County General Sessions Court, Circuit Court Clerk’s Office Chief Deputy Patty Arms told The Leaf-Chronicle
Edward Napper was one of many upset people at the Montgomery County Courts Center waiting in line on May 3 after receiving a notice in the mail that he owed $12,000 after serving 10 years in jail and thinking he had a clean slate. It is unclear why Napper was behind bars.
If his license remains revoked, he said, he won’t be able to get to work.
“I have a certain amount of money and that’s all,” Napper said. “I don’t even know what to do.”
A computer system change last year allowed the county’s computers to connect to the state system, making it easier to track delinquent cases and get licenses revoked, officials said.
Using the new system, court staff since September had been poring over all the general sessions records, dating back to 2012.
That’s the year a state law was passed that allowed courts to have licenses revoked in criminal cases, even those not related to driving, if people did not pay fines and fees within a year.
People can set up a payment plan, but will have their licenses revoked again if they don’t stick to it, Arms said.
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