Ohio County Court Tries to Recoup $63M in Costs

Mar 6, 2012

The court clerk in Ohio's largest county is making changes to help recover more than $63 million in court fines, fees and other costs that people failed to pay.

Last year, the Cuyahoga County Council ordered the clerk to create a plan to collect the fees that have accumulated over the years.

The clerk plans to expand payment options, including online.  People will have time to pay fines without facing further penalties. The county also is working on an agreement with Ohio's attorney general to withhold court costs from state income-tax returns.

The Plain Dealer reports about $42 million of the total owed comes from fines imposed on criminals.  Many counties struggle to collect such fines, partly because they're often owed by people who are in prison.