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Cleveland Municipal Court Partners with Tri-C to Help People with Excessive Reinstatement Fees

Nov 07, 2019
Contact:  Ed Ferenc, Public Information Officer                                   

Cleveland Municipal Court
216 664 6787 / 216 789 2597

(Cleveland) – The Cleveland Municipal Court staged its final community outreach event of the year at Tri-C’s Metro Campus Friday, November 15, 2019.  The four hour event attracted 90 people who ended up saving almost $18,000 in license reinstatement fees.

“Our outreach efforts to the Greater Cleveland community have been very successful.  Over $320,000 in reinstatement fees have been eliminated,” said the Honorable Emanuella Groves, one of the judges overseeing the effort.

Darlene Jones, Regional Representative from the Bureau of Motor Vehicles was present, along with representatives from the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services who provided on-site assistance for people who met the eligibility requirements allowing them to get a complete waiver of their reinstatement fees.

The Tri-C event was supported by the Cuyahoga County Public Defender’s Office and State Representative Juanita Brent, the successor to John Barnes who initially sponsored the legislation for this program in 2018.

Realizing the value of such a program to the community, the Court reached out to the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association earlier this year and trained 40 volunteers; hosted three phone banks, responded to close to 2,750 calls and circulated thousands of fliers in the community all designed to educate people about the program.  The Court also created a website, which has to date had over 10,000 pageviews.

“This is an economic issue,” pointed out Judge Groves, noting that many unlicensed drivers have paid their fines or have done community service, but still owed the Bureau of Motor Vehicles thousands of dollars.

“So when the limited opportunity to help get suspended drivers on the road legally, we had to act,” she said.

The Reinstatement Fee Amnesty Initiative, originally intended to end on July 31, 2019, was extended and resumed on October 17th through the end of the year.  Representative Brent is currently working on new legislation that would expand eligibility and make the program permanent.

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