From now through Aug. 20, Lawrence Municipal Court is forgiving up to $50 of traffic infraction or parking fines in exchange for $15 worth of school supplies.
“We think that this program will have the mutual benefit of helping families in our community … and helping citizens pay for the fines they owe to our court,” said Vicki Stanwix, court administrator.
The debt forgiveness program is designed to help motorists with outstanding traffic fines while allowing them to help local school children and their families. It’s the first time the municipal court has tried the campaign, but if it is a success, it could become an annual event, Stanwix said.
To participate, bring the school supplies and accompanying receipt to municipal court, and $50 will be applied to your balance.
The court is only able to accept donations for existing court fines — not the prospect of an infraction in the future. If you don’t have a fine, you can come to court with someone who does and the credit will be added to their account, Stanwix said.
“If someone wishes to come in with another person who owes fines, they can donate and receive the benefit on their behalf,” Stanwix said. “Our goal is to help families in our community pay for their educational expenses and also to help citizens pay for the fines they owe to our court.”
Suggested supplies include washable markers, No. 2 pencils, 24-packs of crayons, glue sticks, folders, composition notebooks, scissors, highlighters, liquid glue, notebook paper, Play-Doh, reams of white paper, backpacks, headphones (over the ear; no earbuds), Ziplock bags, antibacterial wipes and tissues.
Lawrence Municipal Court, 1 Riverfront Plaza, Suite 310, is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on the third Wednesday of each month.
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Chansi Long (she/her) reported for The Lawrence Times from July 2022 through August 2023. Read more of her work for the Times here.