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Amnesty program helps people who had traffic tickets, parking infractions, violations of marijuana laws

Through June 15, Milwaukie's municipal court is offering an amnesty program to forgive 50% of fines owed by people who have been convicted in traffic tickets, parking infractions or violations of marijuana laws.

Milwaukie officials hope the program will provide relief to qualified individuals who face significant cost barriers to paying their outstanding court fines. The program is intended to reinstate driver's licenses and generate a means for the city to decrease its number of outstanding uncollectible accounts.

People who have received fines that have been in collections for more than two years are eligible through the program as long as their fines are in a nonjudgment status with the collection agency.

To be eligible for amnesty, violators must pay off half of their total balance due, which consists of the fine as adjudicated by the municipal court judge and any interest as established by the collection agency. Reductions will not be given, and Milwaukie's municipal court is not accepting payment plans.

Milwaukie Finance Director Bonnie Dennis and Court Operations Supervisor Carla Bantz received tentative City Council approval in December for this second Municipal Court Amnesty Program, with final approval this spring. Milwaukie conducted a similar two-month pilot program starting July 1, 2020, but the rate of return on the number of individuals with citations participating in the program was only 3%.

COURTESY PHOTO - A current look of the city's police vehicles is shown on the Milwaukie Capital Improvement Plan.Although this rate of return was lower than expected, the program collected $29,981 in revenue for the city by closing 75 traffic and seven parking tickets. No one resolved their marijuana citations through the pilot program.

Outreach efforts for Milwaukie's pilot program included sending 4,553 postcards to individuals inviting them to take advantage of the pilot program, articles in the city's newsletter and social media blasts. Staff from the city and its collections vendor promoted the program.

COURTESY PHOTO - Milwaukie City Hall, in its current location at a 1938 building, will be moving north on Main Street to a former Advantis Credit Union headquarters building.Oregon City Municipal Court conducted an amnesty program from Sept. 15-Dec. 31, 2020, and closed 132 cases for a total of $57,000. Oregon City had hoped to close more cases than its amnesty program did in 2017 but the pandemic likely resulted in a smaller response.

Amnesty payments are being accepted by cash, money order, cashier's check or credit card (no personal checks) to Valley Credit Service by calling 800-452-0317 or visiting

If applicable, driver license reinstatements will be sent to the Oregon DMV after the city receives notice from the collection agency that payment has been received. For questions or more information, contact the municipal court at 503-786-7543.

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