Genesee County FOC to host amnesty events - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Genesee County FOC to host amnesty events

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(03/04/14) - In Genesee County alone, there are about 55,000 active Friend of the Court cases.
Director John Battles says thousands of those fathers and mothers owe money to the state. "For the most part, people want to pay their child support, they simply can't," Battles said.
To help, this month, the court is hosting its own version of March Madness. "Different context, probably more beneficial to our clients," Battles said.
March Madness is an amnesty program for people who owe money, and might even have a warrant out for their arrest.
"This is a program that the State of Michigan has designed to give them their life back, basically, so they don't have to run from the court system," Battles said.
Battles isn't sure how many people to expect. The first few amnesty events drew dozens of people. Then in December, they saw at least 1,000.
"It was incredibly successful, we helped a lot of people, we waived approximately $7 million for those that appeared," Battles said.
In addition, 513 active warrants were removed.
They hope to do even more with this new approach to enforcement that promises no one who shows up will be arrested for FOC bench warrants.
"I think there's a general distrust of the Friend of the Court. I think that a lot of people have gotten themselves so far behind they simply can not catch up, and that is a huge deterrent to coming down and taking care of their business," Battles said.
Each of the four amnesty events will take place on a Thursday. Here at the dates, times and locations:
-Thursday, March 6, 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., Second Chance Church, 1950 Burr Boulevard, Flint
-Thursday, March 13, 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., New Jerusalem Church, 1035 E. Carpenter Road, Flint
-Thursday, March 20, 2 p.m., Fenton Township Hall, 12060 Mantawauka, Fenton Township
-Thursday, March 27, 2 p.m., Genesee County Administration Building, 1101 Beach Street, Flint

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