County holds first weekday warrant resolution court event - Tucson News Now

County holds first weekday warrant resolution court event

The 2nd floor is packed with people! Right now, Pima County justice court holds its third warrant resolution court. (Source: Tucson News Now) The 2nd floor is packed with people! Right now, Pima County justice court holds its third warrant resolution court. (Source: Tucson News Now)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Pima County Consolidated Justice Court held its first weekday night court on Tuesday, Oct. 11.

Two judges stayed late to take appointments and walk-ins until 7 p.m. helping people with outstanding warrants take care of their legal issues. Court normally closes at 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Douglas Kooi, Pima County Consolidated Justice Court Administrator, said the reason for extending hours on a weekday is simply to be more convenient for those who are having difficulty making it to court because of scheduling conflicts. He explained some might not be able to make a scheduled weekend opportunity, so coming after work on a weekday fits better for them.

“By people doing away with these warrants, having these warrants quashed, it should start showing an impact on the pima county jail and reducing jail costs,” said Kooi. 

Judge Keith Bee said he dealt with primarily criminal misdemeanors like DUI, domestic violence, assaults, thefts shoplifts, those types of charges. “We’re not going to take you to jail. Come in, I’ll quash your warrant. That’s the message, come in, take care of it and move on with your life.”

There have been two other warrant resolution court events this year, but they were scheduled on Saturdays when the court is not usually open at all.

Miguel Garcia said it’s finally nice to not worry about getting pulled over and going to jail. “That’s pretty much why I’m here. To get my license and move forward in life. Instead of having this headache in my head, weight on my shoulders.”

"It saves taxpayers money because it keeps people from going to jail," Kooi said. "It costs about $200 a day for someone to go to jail."

Kooi added there's an estimated 19,000 active warrants on any given day in Pima County. Some date as far back as 1988.

Natoya Batson explained her warrants were for failing to appear in court in the past. The single mom said she was not purposely trying to miss her dates or not pay her traffic tickets. “It’s just been very hard to do everything I need to do and then get down here so I can get things done legally.” 

She’s happy that justice court administrators decided to extend their hours today. “It’s great,” said Batson. “I’m ready to go in and take care of my stuff. It actually helps a lot. You can't do a lot of stuff with warrants. You can't take care of a lot of things. A lot of jobs don't want to hire you because between of these reasons.” 

A total of 1,596 people attended the last two weekend warrant resolution courts. More than 300 people showed up today. No one was arrested at any of the events. 

The court has two more weekday warrant resolution court events scheduled:

  • Tuesday, Nov. 8, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Dec. 6, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.

READ MORE: Pima County holding third warrant resolution court

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