Valley Brook re-issues 20-year-old warrants

Tuesday, February 26th 2008, 8:19 pm
By: News 9

By Dave Jordan, NEWS 9

The city of Valley Brook is re-issuing hundreds of warrants that went ignored. Offenses range from public intoxication to DUI's.

Some of the warrants date back 20 years and those who received citations said they're being unfairly targeted.

Scott Newell opened his mailbox last week to find an announcement that Valley Brook issued a warrant for his arrest. They also charged him for failure to appear and began proceedings to revoke his license for a citation he got 20 years ago.

Newell said he already paid the ticket, so he took his case to the city attorney.

"He told me you can fight it and you can get out of this ticket, but I'll make sure the failure to appear cost you $300," Newell said.

Newell has no record of paying the original citation because it was back in 1988.

"It's common sense that if I hadn't paid it in 20 years, they would have suspended my driver's license 20 years ago," Newell said.

Newell ended up paying on the original offense and that's not all.

"After I paid the $252, the judge also put me on probation for three months," Newell said.

Attorney and NEWS 9's Legal Analyst Irven Box said he's been contacted by at least two people complaining of a similar case.

"If the records are that deficient that it takes 20 years to send those things out, I think it's not going to be able to overcome someone saying under oath, I paid this thing 20 years ago," Box said.

"Since I got that ticket in valley brook, the only time I've driven through valley brook was to go to court," Newell said. "I hope that anybody would stay out of valley brook."

We contacted Valley Brook to find out how many of these letters were sent out and to get a response to Newell's allegation.

A deputy clerk named Christine said they don't keep track of how many letters were mailed out and that the mayor and the police chief were unavailable for comment.