The City of Houston Municipal Courts Department announced the start of its Amnesty Program at a press conference held Monday, Feb. 26 at the Herbert W. Gee Municipal Courthouse. For the next three weeks, certain delinquent cases will be discounted to help citizens save money while resolving outstanding cases.
“After Hurricane Harvey, we’ve all been through a lot and there are many of us who are still rebuilding our lives. Municipal Courts staff can help you have one less thing to worry about, we are here to ease your burden by helping you to get your delinquent cases resolved,” said Judge J. Elaine Marshall, director and presiding judge of the Municipal Courts Department. “Hopefully, this Amnesty Program will be the answer for those who haven’t been able to pay their cases before now,” Judge Marshall stated.
The amnesty period began at 8 a.m., Monday, Feb. 26 and ends on Friday, March 16, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. Any defendant who voluntarily appears at any Municipal Court location during amnesty will be permitted to resolve all their eligible delinquent cases, including Failure to Appear (FTA) cases, and will not be subject to arrest.
Cases eligible for amnesty include all delinquent cases issued prior to January 1, 2018. Only the defendant named in the citation or their attorney can participate in the amnesty program. Bonding companies, friends, relatives, and spouses cannot make the amnesty request on behalf of someone else.
The Amnesty Program does not apply to a defendant that is in custody, previously adjudicated cases, parking citations, administrative violations, bond forfeitures, or civil cases. Citizens may call the Houston Helpline by dialing 3-1-1 or 713-837-0311 for questions about whether their specific case(s) is amnesty eligible.
Defendants may take advantage of the amnesty by phone, US Mail or in person at any Municipal Court location.