Franklin County Courthouse

In the first 10 months of 2017, nearly 500 more tickets have already been written and $80,000 more has been collected by the Franklin County Municipal Court than last year.

According to County Treasurer Debbie Aholt, between Jan. 1, and Nov. 13, the court has already taken in $621,109 and 3,831 tickets have been processed.

Since January, 4,717 cases have been opened in the court and 4,424 have been processed with an 89.9 percent disposal rate.

In October, total collections were listed at $61,547.

In 2016, the court processed 3,388 tickets and took in $540,241 all year.

The court handles traffic citations, county planning and zoning code violations and county health and building code violations.

Inception

In 2012, Franklin County instituted a municipal court to lower the caseload at the circuit court level and generate more funds for the county.

Since that time, 20,884 cases have been opened and 19,495 have been disposed for a 93.3 percent overall closure rate.

At its inception, the court was expected to generate $100,000 in annual revenues, instead it has averaged collections of $428,000 each year.

Five years after its creation the municipal court has alleviated the circuit court but it has also cost county schools some funds they would have normally received.

Fines collected by the circuit court are separated into several funds within the county and multiple departments in turn benefit.

Before its formation, when these cases were held at the circuit court level, fines and forfeitures were all added to the same account and were then dispersed to various funds at the state and county level.

Fund

One of those funds is the County School Interest Fund Account, which in 2015 dispersed $797,196 to 14 different school districts that serve Franklin County residents.

The high-water mark for this fund was 2011, the year before the municipal court was established, when $1.4 million was dispersed from the county courts.

Each year since then, the total amount from fines and forfeitures at the circuit court level has dropped annually by $100,000 and is down more than $600,000 in five years.