The facts of this case are atrocious. What the hell is wrong with Houston County?
In Harrell’s case, she was ticketed for speeding along Interstate 75 in Houston County and opted to contest the $162 ticket, according to the case summary. However, when she arrived at State Court for her court date, she learned that anyone pleading guilty to a traffic violation had to post a bond twice the amount of the ticket, the summary said.
She decided to pay the fine, the judge accepted the plea and imposed a 12-month suspended sentence, which would end once she paid the fine, the summary said.
She was required to complete paperwork for the private probation company and told she would also have to pay a $25 supervision fee to the probation company, according to the summary. She left the courthouse, withdrew cash from an ATM, returned and was taken by a Sentinel employee to the clerk’s office where she paid the $162 fine. She was not asked to pay the $25 service fee, the summary stated.
But a warrant was later issued for her arrest after a Sentinel probation officer received a report that she failed to make the $187 payment. Harrell was arrested at her Clayton County home in July 2005, jailed over the weekend in Clayton County and then transported to Houston County, Pearson said.
Harrell was released from jail and all charges were dropped once Houston County received a faxed receipt showing she had paid the fine, according to the summary.
The lady sued and the Fulton County State Court denied her the right to a trial by jury. The mass arraignments in traffic court are bad enough, but then to arrest her for failure to pay when she had in fact paid is disgusting.