Municipal court fees could be increasing

Published 6:51pm Tuesday, June 4, 2013

In a public safety committee meeting Tuesday, members of the Selma City Council discussed the possibility of increasing municipal court fees.

If raised, council members said the extra money would go toward the betterment of the court system and programs aimed at helping those found guilty of minor charges.

District Court fees in Dallas County are currently higher than municipal court fees, said Ward 2 councilmember Susan Keith. The city of Selma, she said, simply hasn’t updated their court fees in recent years.

“We are looking at ways the additional fees can benefit the courts,” Keith said. “We want to make them comparable to county court costs.”

Municipal court and district court fees include misdemeanor charges, minor traffic violations, driving with a suspended license, driving under the influence and seat belt fines.

Ward 7 councilmember Bennie Ruth Crenshaw, said if the city were able to increase municipal court costs, the council would want the money used to create programs that would assist those found guilty of any charges.

“[Raising municipal court fees] is contingent on whether or not we can get programs approved so we can see where we can use this money and take this increase in order to support the people,” Crenshaw said. “It would be used to better the community in some way.”

Until the council finalizes where the excess money would go, Crenshaw said the proposed increase will be “tabled.”

“Right now we’re just seeing where we want to go with it in terms of adding money to municipal court fees,” Crenshaw said. “We want to find a way this money could possibly be earmarked to be used to improve the court system.”

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