More than $316,000 in fees were incorrectly charged to citizens by several of Missouri’s municipal courts, according to a state Auditor’s report. Auditor Nicole Galloway says it’s up to local courts whether customers overcharged will be repaid.
“Because of our audits, moving forward, these entities have stopped charging these fees, as they should,” says Galloway. “Oftentimes, this is money that citizens are never going to get back.”
Courts mischarged for things like warrants, bonds and booking fees.
Galloway says the audit of records from 2014 to last month found several local municipalities and courts also miscalculated how much they owe the state for traffic ticket revenue.
“In many cases in these municipal court audits, where the calculations were very wrong, they were not tracking their minor court fees or tracking their revenue correctly. We could see that the formula they were using was wrong, but we couldn’t get to a bottom number of what it should be,” says Galloway.
From collecting improper fees to keeping incomplete court records, Galloway says the practices that impede court efficiencies and, in some cases, violate state law.
The complete Municipal Court Summary report is available online here.