Fines, Court Costs Exceed $420,000

Revenue for the new Franklin County Municipal Court is outpacing projections.

The county budgeted for the new court to collect $125,000 in fines and another $125,000 in court costs for 2013.

But through October, the court had collected $420,213 in court costs and fines, according to the latest report.

This year, the court has opened 3,390 cases and disposed of 3,249.

The court has mainly handled traffic violations but can also hear violations pertaining to planning and zoning codes, building codes and health regulations.

The associate circuit court used to administer cases that the new municipal court handles now.

The county now captures revenue from fines and court costs. It got very little revenue from fines and court costs when the associate circuit court handled those cases, County Counselor Mark Vincent said.

The county municipal court handles less serious violations and therefore does not hear cases such as driving while intoxicated charges, Vincent added.

The municipal court has budgeted expenditures of $156,883, which means its revenue is exceeding what it costs to run the court by more than $260,000 through the end of October.

Excess revenue that the court collects goes to the general fund to support county operations, Vincent said.

The court’s expenditures include $66,000 a year paid to a private law firm to act as prosecutor for the court. And there is also $70,583 budgeted for wages and benefits. The budget provides for a part-time judge and full-time clerk.