(Ferguson, MO) - City of Ferguson Municipal Court Judge Donald McCullin, who was appointed to his position in June 2015, is making sweeping changes in the Ferguson Municipal Court.
Judge McCullin announced today an order to withdraw all arrest warrants issued before December 31, 2014 and an order changing the conditions for Pre-Trial Release. Defendants will then be given new court dates along with alternative dispositions, such as payment plans, community service and/or commuting fines for indigent persons.
Judge McCullin indicated these orders will meet and exceed the requirements set forth in Senate Bill 5 and Supreme Court Rule 37.65.
"These changes should continue the process of restoring confidence in the Court, alleviating fears of the consequences of appearing in Court, and giving many residents a fresh start,” said McCullin. “Many individuals whose license has been suspended will be able to obtain them and take advantage of the benefits of being able to drive. Moreover, defendants will not be disadvantaged in being afforded pre-trial release because of the inability to make bond.”
If a defendant continually fails to appear on their scheduled court date, an arrest warrant may be issued and/or a request made to the Director of Revenue to seek a setoff of the defendant’s tax return. If an arrest warrant is issued for a minor traffic violation, the defendant will not be incarcerated, but instead released on their own recognizance and given another court date.
All active warrants more than five years old will be withdrawn. In addition, for cases in which the Director of Revenue has suspended a defendant’s driver’s license solely for failure to appear in court or failure to pay a fine, the license will be reinstated pending final disposition.
The Judge issued the orders necessary for these actions with the support of the Ferguson City Council.
“The Ferguson City Council was informed of the proposed actions by Judge McCullin and applauds the recall of the arrest warrants and the rescission of the driver’s license suspensions in compliance with Senate Bill 5 and as a way to restore confidence in the Municipal Court,” said City of Ferguson Mayor James Knowles.