DA looking to recover restitution

Published 7:45 pm Friday, May 9, 2014

The Covington District Attorney’s Restitution Recovery Unit has begun a month-long special operation in an effort to expedite repayment of restitution of crime victims, Walt Merrell announced Friday.

“The Alabama Legislature tasks the office of the district attorney in each circuit with determining the amount of restitution owed to each victim as well as with recovering it from the defendants who are not paying as ordered by the court,” he explained.

On Thursday, Circuit Court Judge Charles A. “Lex” Short presided over a docket for defendants who are currently behind on their restitution payments. Prior to this day, Merrell’s staff had contacted more than 100 defendants who were behind on their payments.

After all efforts were made to allow those who were behind to catch up, Judge Short issued notices for defendants to appear at Thursday’s docket. More than 50 individuals appeared in court on Thursday and made arrangements to make payments to their victims. Arrest warrants were issued for those who failed to appear, and law enforcement officers are actively looking for them, Merrell said.

Merrell said that more than $18,000 in restitution has been recovered since the operation began.

-Staff Reports