ready to be mailed.
The Baxter County Sheriff’s Office is very pleased to announce that the collection of court-ordered restitution in felony criminal cases from Circuit Court has now topped the two million dollar mark since current collection methods began to be utilized in 2005. The Sheriff’s Office is given responsibility by county ordinance to serve as the collection agent for all county fines, court costs, and victim restitution.
Beginning in 2005, the Sheriff’s Office began aggressively using all methods available under the law to collect restitution that is owed to victims of crimes. This includes restitution in burglary, breaking or entering, theft, forgery, and criminal mischief cases. The methods used include utilizing the Arkansas State Income Tax Set-Off Program, whereby income tax refunds that would otherwise be sent to persons who are delinquent on payment of restitution are garnished and paid over to the victims instead, through the Sheriff’s Office. The Baxter County Sheriff’s Office is one of the first in the state to ever utilize the tax set-off program.
Another method that has proven particularly useful is the suspension of driver licenses of persons delinquent in paying restitution. This action alone has prompted numerous people to begin paying or to bring delinquent payments up to date.
In addition to these two methods, the Sheriff’s Office also coordinates with the Prosecuting Attorney to bring Contempt of Court charges against persons who have become delinquent in paying restitution to their victims.
Utilizing these collection methods has resulted in restitution being collected on cases going back to the early 1990s, cases that had been long forgotten prior to current collection procedures being undertaken. The Sheriff’s Office mails out dozens of checks each month to crime victims for restitution that has been collected.
A collection break-down by year is:
2014 $235,469.43 Year to Date
TOTAL: $2,018,099.08 as of 09/24/2014
If any member of the public is due restitution in a felony criminal case from Baxter County Circuit Court and has not received that restitution or has received only partial payments with a current delinquency, they may contact the Sheriff’s Administration Office for information and assistance with their case. In addition, the Sheriff’s Office may have invalid victim addresses in some of the older cases that need to be updated and corrected.
The Sheriff’s Office will continue to exercise its responsibilities regarding restitution collection and will continue using all current collection methods as well as any new ones that may later be authorized by law.
/s/ John F. Montgomery,
Baxter County Sheriff