FORT WORTH -- City officials are warning those with outstanding ticket warrants that they could be arrested in a citywide sweep Saturday if they don't come in and pay up before this weekend.
Yet officials also concede that they have no idea how many outstanding warrants exist in the municipal court system as they prepare for this weekend's roundup.
City spokesman Bill Begley said municipal court officials estimate a backlog of "thousands" of outstanding warrants, but they cannot provide an accurate count since the court system hasn't compiled a report in over a year.
Regardless, city officials say violators are at risk of being arrested if they continue to ignore the warnings.
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In previous sweeps, officials have typically rounded up 40 to 60 residents and sometimes caught far more.
"We are looking for the higher-volume violators, but some of those people who get caught up in these roundups are likely to be those who just took their tickets, stuck it in their console and forgot about it," said David Camp, chief deputy of the Fort Worth marshal's office.
Those who are arrested will be arraigned at the new Southwest Municipal Court, 3741 SW Loop 820. If they can make arrangements to pay their fines or post bail, they'll be released. Otherwise, they'll likely go to jail, Camp said.
Camp said most realize that they have to pay the ticket and either have forgotten about it or are merely hoping it will go away.
But there are some who are continually stacking up tickets.
"You have some continually build ticket after ticket after ticket," Camp said. "That's a very small percentage."
The municipal courts deal with Class C misdemeanors that can also include code enforcement and fire code violations, but the overwhelming majority of warrants are issued for traffic violations.
Information about warrants can be obtained at 817-392-6730.
Check the municipal court website at www.fortworthgov.org/municipalcourt
Bill Hanna, 817-390-7698