Municipal Courts Administrative Judge Newton McCoy signed on Thursday a dismissal order for more than 24,000 older, low-level cases at the municipal court.
The cancellation, which happens annually, gives the Municipal Courts an opportunity to turn their focus to more serious crimes. It also removes cases from the records of St. Louisans; outstanding warrants for nonviolent offenses can be barriers to employment, housing and more.
However, municipal offenses such as DWIs, DUIs, leaving the scene of a crime, and dumping in unlicensed areas are ineligible for dismissal.
The cases being dismissed pre-date July 1, 2018.
“This annual dismissal helps the court do its job more efficiently in the months ahead,” McCloy said in a statement.
“City Court is also pleased to support our public safety mission by offering our Warrant Reset Day for the fifth consecutive year,” he added.
Warrant Reset Day – the city’s fifth consecutive year of the program – aims to reduce the backlog of 160,000 outstanding bench warrants at the municipal court. The program allows people to come in without fear of arrest and set a new court date or handle their charges on the spot.
This year’s event will take place Aug. 26 at 1520 Market Street, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The city’s Department of Personnel will also hold a Second Chance job fair at the event, to help connect residents to city jobs, with free background checks.
Last year, 3,155 warrants in municipal court were reset.
“The city’s annual warrant reset days help remove barriers to housing and employment for St. Louis residents,” said CJCC Executive Director Nicolle Barton. “This is an important opportunity for St. Louisans with outstanding low-level warrants to re-engage with the justice process.”
Hundreds of low level felony and misdemeanor warrants are up for consideration for reset by the Circuit Court. Individuals can check on the Municipal Courts’ webpage to see if they have a municipal warrant.