Butler County Times Gazette
  • El Dorado court fees, truck fines increase

  • Those who break the law in El Dorado will be paying a little more following actin on two items by the El Dorado City Commission Monday evening.
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  • Those who break the law in El Dorado will be paying a little more following actin on two items by the El Dorado City Commission Monday evening.
    The first issue they looked at were municipal court charges.
    “We currently have one of the lowest court costs in the area,” said Police Chief Curt Zieman.
    Currently, there is a $26 fee, of which $20.50 goes to the state and the other $5.50 goes to non-profit organizations in town.
    “We did a survey of the area a few weeks ago, we contacted cities like El Dorado of similar size and the average court cost is $70,” Zieman said. “It’s kind of interesting that a couple of these jurisdictions that I talked to, their court costs are currently $70 or more and they are talking about raising it more than that.”
    He was asking they raise El Dorado’s to $70 and they add a charge of $10 for a continuance or suspension of driver’s license to cover the extra work in those cases.
    A couple of other small changes to the ordinance included updating the date and time of court to Monday at 1 p.m. and stating the city manager hires the court clerk, not the judge.
    The second issue dealt with trucks off route.
    “We were asked to revisit the truck route ordinance as far as the fine,” Zieman said. “We have been researching city code and according to city code, our municipal judge sets all the fines to people who commit crimes who go before her court. She is limited to $100 fines for off-truck route cases though by city ordinance.
    “She’s prepared to double what our current truck route fine is,” Zieman explained. “I think she agrees it needs to be more. What we do as police officers and what we do in court is all about changing behavior. It’s not all about the fine. We’re seeing a lot of trucks off the truck route and we’re writing a lot of tickets, but it’s $100 and no court costs.”
    He was proposing they make it $200 and add the $70 court cost. The judge, Cami Baker, suggested they set the ordinance at $500 to give some leeway in the future for increases.
    “If I’m a trucker, I think $270 is going to sting a little more than $100 because apparently $100 doesn’t mean anything to them because they are still doing it,” Zieman said. “I think word will get out the fines have increased in El Dorado and they will start taking it a little more serious.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Mayor Mike Fagg said he thought for a guy trying to make a living $270 was a lot.
    “All they have to do is obey the law,” said City Manager Herb Llewellyn.
    “It is our job as drivers to bet speed limit signs, etc.,” Zieman added.
    He also pointed out their truck route signs are up to state code and a lot of times better than required.
    Both changes were approved unanimously.

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