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Scofflaws

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NEWS
May 19, 2008
ONE THING to remember about the Philadelphia Gun Violence Task Force is not how many guns it confiscates, but the people it arrests. And there is one other thing: the amount of noise it makes on the streets. Last week the task force, funded by a $5 million state grant championed by state Sen. Vince Fumo, announced 19 people had been charged with illegally transferring handguns. Since December 2006, the task force, which includes representatives of the offices of the district attorney, attorney general and Philadelphia police, has arrested 165 people and taken in 262 firearms.
NEWS
December 21, 1992 | by Paul Maryniak, Daily News Staff Writer
After a long slumber that has made it a punching bag for auditors, city Traffic Court is trying to shed its pussycat image to become a junkyard dog. It's been barking - and biting - a lot in the last few weeks. For starters, Traffic Court officials have notified 25,000 motorists who have even one unpaid ticket that their cars will be booted and towed beginning in February if they haven't paid up. Then, some 5,000 scofflaws who have defaulted on promises to pay their fines were told that Traffic Court was filing liens against them.
NEWS
September 28, 1989 | By Toni Locy, Daily News Staff Writer
Got a summons from Traffic Court in the mail? For a moving violation? Just toss it in the trash, right? Wrong, scofflaw, unless you want to spend some time behind bars. For the first time in many years, Traffic Court has come up with a plan to go after scofflaws. The court signed an agreement with Sheriff John Green and the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts to create a 14-member warrant process unit to serve arrest warrants. Fourteen sheriff's deputies will work in the unit.
NEWS
December 18, 1992 | by Paul Maryniak, Daily News Staff Writer
By now, city Traffic Court's abysmal performance has been documented so many times that a new audit almost seems redundant. But city Controller Jonathan Saidel yesterday stressed a grim hidden cost of the court's ineptitude as he disclosed that it had sunk to yet another new low in its ability to collect unpaid tickets for motor vehicle violations. Add mayhem to the millions in uncollected fines, he said. In January 1991, a New Jersey motorist, later convicted of third-degree murder, killed a 16-year-old Frankford girl in a traffic accident in the Northeast section of Philadelphia.
NEWS
October 23, 1986 | By Vanessa Williams, Inquirer Staff Writer (The Associated Press contributed to this article.)
The City of Camden plans to introduce an unfashionable automobile accessory - the boot. City Council is scheduled to vote tonight on spending $120,000 to buy boots, mechanical devices that are used to immobilize vehicles until their owners pay outstanding parking tickets. Officials are hoping that the boots, which fit snugly on the wheels of the vehicles, will help them collect about $285,000 in outstanding tickets. Valentina Frick, clerk of the city's traffic court, said that police now have to track down scofflaws and serve warrants - a costly effort because many delinquent ticket holders live outside the city.
NEWS
July 31, 1998
Stop us if you've heard this one before. Philadelphia is going after drivers tooling around without insurance, valid auto registration or a driver's license. Police will confiscate cars and tow trucks will haul them away to an impound. Autos will be returned only after owners get right by the law. That's the thrust of a pilot program the city announced this week. It was also the thrust of a program announced in November. And in the November before that. Ever since a state law, adopted two years ago, gave the city the right to tow and impound scofflaws' cars, Philadelphia officials have been uncertain about how to use their new-found power.
NEWS
December 21, 2006 | By Kristen A. Graham INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
It was over quickly, with the touch of a few keystrokes and no fanfare: Philadelphia Parking Authority Officer Fatima Pratt spotted a parking violator, punched his license plate into her brand-new computer, and detected that this outlaw owed the city $7,000 in violations. One phone call and a few minutes later, the car got the boot. Within a few hours, the vehicle was towed from Ludlow Street in Center City. Happy holidays! "I wouldn't have known he was a scofflaw if I was writing that ticket on paper," Pratt said as she walked her route from 16th to 18th Streets, Chestnut to Market.
NEWS
March 28, 2011 | Inquirer Staff Report
Court officers fanned out through the city overnight, rounding up 32 traffic scofflaws who together owe an estimated $120,000 in fines and penalties. Lt. Sam Turner, of the First Judicial District Warrant Unit, said officers at some locations arrested a second person who was wanted for past traffic violations but was not the subject of the original warrant. "We went looking for one person and lo and behold there was someone else," he said. Those arrested had missed court dates and failed to pay fines totaling an estimated $120,000.
NEWS
June 2, 1987 | By BOB WARNER, Daily News Staff Writer
Philadelphia could raise up to $6 million with a two-month parking-ticket amnesty program, but only if it establishes a program to pursue scofflaws more aggressively, according to the city's top parking official. William F. Rafsky, chairman and executive director of the Philadelphia Parking Authority, yesterday made two specific proposals: Applying the "boot" to cars after their owners have piled up three unpaid parking tickets. The boot is a device that is locked to a car wheel to prevent the vehicle from moving.
NEWS
July 10, 2012 | Daily News Editorial
WE ALL KNOW the problems of the city's schools: the thousands of kids who drop out, or the thousands who are failing, or those who do graduate but with a subpar education that prepares them neither for college nor the workplace. Why don't we hold those responsible for this situation more accountable? We're not talking about teachers or administrators, unions or management, or even students and parents. We're talking about the 100,000 people who own properties but aren't paying their property taxes, and thus robbing the schools of the money they need.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
June 6, 2014 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
They're from different parts of the city and had nothing in common - except for their predawn Wednesday wake-up call: court warrant officers arresting them for failing to appear for jury duty. Actually, it was more than that. Not only did they ignore at least two calls for jury duty, they ignored a summons telling them to appear in court May 21 or be held in contempt. Yes, we're talking about scofflaws in Philadelphia's new Juror Scofflaw Court. Two of the three - Timothy Shissler, 42, of Frankford, and John Sparks, 56, of Brewerytown - pleaded guilty before unsmiling Common Pleas Court Judges John W. Herron and Jeffrey P. Minehart.
NEWS
May 23, 2014 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
In criminal justice jargon, they were recidivists: People who have dodged jury duty two, three, four times. On Wednesday, 60 of them packed Courtroom 505 of the city's Criminal Justice Center after Common Pleas Court Administrative Judge John W. Herron made them an offer they couldn't refuse: Show up or be arrested. Welcome to Philadelphia's Juror Scofflaw Court, Herron's revival of a program he launched in 2000, when only one in five people summoned for jury duty ever showed. Herron might be happier today with that earlier level of participation.
NEWS
September 27, 2013 | BY DANA DIFILIPPO, Daily News Staff Writer difilid@phillynews.com, 215-854-5934
IT'S NEVER a good idea to hang out in a police department's parking lot if you have outstanding arrest warrants. Or, say, half a joint sitting on your car's dashboard. Three people learned that lesson the hard way Wednesday, when Cherry Hill officers, checking on suspicious vehicles in their own lot on Mercer Street, found two wanted people in one car and the marijuana in another car. Just before noon, officers checking out a suspicious car parked in the Police Administration Building's lot discovered that two of the four occupants had outstanding arrest warrants.
NEWS
July 10, 2012 | Daily News Editorial
WE ALL KNOW the problems of the city's schools: the thousands of kids who drop out, or the thousands who are failing, or those who do graduate but with a subpar education that prepares them neither for college nor the workplace. Why don't we hold those responsible for this situation more accountable? We're not talking about teachers or administrators, unions or management, or even students and parents. We're talking about the 100,000 people who own properties but aren't paying their property taxes, and thus robbing the schools of the money they need.
NEWS
July 4, 2012 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
Red-light scofflaws, you just caught a break. Philadelphia's red-light cameras were illegal over the weekend, and no tickets generated during that time will be sent to motorists. The law that authorized the red-light cameras now in use at 20 intersections expired at 12:01 a.m. Saturday. Gov. Corbett did not sign the bill re-authorizing the cameras (and extending their use to Pittsburgh and Philadelphia suburban communities) until Monday evening. So, if you ran a light in Philadelphia during that period and saw the ominous flash of the camera strobe, relax.
NEWS
May 23, 2011 | By Peter Mucha, Inquirer Staff Writer
Stepped-up enforcement of seatbelt laws begins today across the country, with Pennsylvania offering free child-seat checks at dozens of locations. The campaign, dubbed "Click It or Ticket," runs until June 5 in most states, with even multistate agencies like the Delaware River Port Authority taking part. A second crackdown period happens every fall. Requirements and penalties vary from state to state. In Pennsylvania, drivers and front seat passengers 18 and over, as well as children ages 8 to 17 in any seat, must wear a seatbelt.
NEWS
March 31, 2011
DEMOCRACY is a beautiful thing. We think that pretty much every day, but especially around election time. For the purposes of making endorsements, this board meets one-on-one with candidates. We are always impressed with how wildly varied the candidates are - ranging from sophisticated attorneys to rowhouse laborers - most of whom share a commitment to the city that, at the risk of getting mushy, is inspiring. Running for office, especially here, is not for the faint of heart. But generally, the more people who try, the better we are. Still, it's not unreasonable to suggest there should be some basic standards for fitness to serve.
NEWS
March 29, 2011
Court officers fanned out through the city Monday night, rounding up 32 traffic scofflaws who together owe an estimated $120,000 in fines and penalties. Lt. Sam Turner, of the First Judicial District Warrant Unit, said officers at some locations arrested a second person who was wanted for past traffic violations, but who had not been the subject of the original warrant. "We went looking for one person, and, lo and behold," he said, "there was someone else. " Those arrested had missed court dates and failed to pay fines.
NEWS
March 28, 2011 | Inquirer Staff Report
Court officers fanned out through the city overnight, rounding up 32 traffic scofflaws who together owe an estimated $120,000 in fines and penalties. Lt. Sam Turner, of the First Judicial District Warrant Unit, said officers at some locations arrested a second person who was wanted for past traffic violations but was not the subject of the original warrant. "We went looking for one person and lo and behold there was someone else," he said. Those arrested had missed court dates and failed to pay fines totaling an estimated $120,000.
NEWS
February 3, 2010 | By Miriam Hill INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Bob Faraco says he is a reluctant scofflaw. Yes, employees at his knife-sharpening company often park illegally, but that's how they have done it for about 90 years, zipping in and out of Center City restaurants, picking up dull blades and replacing them with some that can slice through flesh, bread, vegetables, and fruit. As a result, employees at Faraco Knife Grinding Services in Pennsburg have racked up $40,580 in unpaid parking tickets in the last six years, making Faraco No. 1 on the list of "Top 25 Parking Ticket Scofflaws" released yesterday by the Philadelphia Parking Authority.
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