Court offers fine payment alternative

Published 8:50 pm Saturday, March 21, 2009

Those who are facing court-ordered fines but don’t have the money to pay now might have another option.

District Judge Rhonda Hardesty is coordinating a community service program one Saturday morning each month to allow those who have been fined for minor offenses to work off their penalties. Early yesterday morning, at least 30 people showed up to participate in this program. Hardesty said that was good turnout.

“It lets them work off the fines,” Hardesty said. “If they don’t have a way to pay their fines, then they can show up on Saturday morning to do some community service.”

For example, a person is facing a fine of $250 in District Court. Hardesty said he or she could work a Saturday as a payment for the fine.

“If it was me and I had the option to do community service, I would work for a few hours on a Saturday rather than having to pay the fine. Then, you could spend the money for something else,” Hardesty said.

Usually, the group is seen picking up trash on the roads. Some also helped to clean the courthouse. Hardesty and several police officers always oversee those who show up to make sure they are doing their jobs.

Yesterday, the group could be seen in downtown Clanton picking up trash early in the morning. They also had a group in south Clanton picking up litter on the sides of the road.

Hardesty said they will be working in Jemison next month.