Limited amnesty will be offered in December to people with outstanding bench warrants in Curry and Roosevelt County magistrate courts, according to court officials.
With approximately 2,500 outstanding bench warrants in Curry County alone, some dating back to 1982, the courts are hoping to reduce the backlog by offering people a chance to talk with the judges about their cases, Chief Clerk Jinger West said.
“They have the opportunity to talk to a judge before any action is taken,” she said.
Most of the warrants were issued for people who failed to appear for court dates or pay fines and fees, she said.
Judges can make arrangements for fine payment and other things, she said.
“It’s just a way to get some of those fines cleared up and cases closed … I believe all the judges in both counties are willing to work with everyone. That’s our ultimate goal ”
Some people have trouble making payments on their fines while others forget to appear for court dates and then warrants are issued, she said.
In January a list of remaining warrants will be given to local law enforcement, who will conduct a warrant roundup, West said.
Curry County Magistrate Court hours
Monday-Thursday: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Friday: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Roosevelt County Magistrate Court hours
Monday: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Tuesday: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Wednesday-Friday: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.