Event will let residents clear up Atlantic, Cape warrants

Residents looking to clear up some outstanding criminal warrants will get a chance Saturday.
The “Put Your Life Back on Track” event will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the All Wars Memorial Building in Atlantic City.
“We saw the program and Brooklyn, New York and shopped the idea to municipalities, judges, court and we started working on it,” said Omar McDaniels of Connecting the Dots Inc., which is sponsoring the event.
Masjid Muhammad Inc. of Atlantic City and South Shore Connectors are also involved.
The first event held last year resulted in more than 300 warrants being cleared, including 274 municipal court bench warrants and 45 from Superior Court.
Regardless of the crime or whether it can be handled, there will be no arrest at the event.
Most municipal court bench warrants and some from Superior Court issued in Atlantic and Cape May counties can be cleared, said Jill Houck, criminal division manager for the Superior Courts there.
They will include:

  • Bench warrants issued in Superior Court for failure to appear on all third- and fourth-degree charges, and second-degree charges for CDS distribution in a school/public zone, and those on the Comprehensive Enforcement Program
  • Bench warrants issued by Atlantic and Cape May county municipal courts
  • Issues surrounding suspended driver’s licenses
  • Unpaid fines/tickets
  • Juvenile matters

Child support warrants won’t be taken care of at the event, but staff will have a list of outstanding warrants and defendants will receive a special form with instructions to report to the courthouse on the following Monday.
Bench warrants on first- and second-degree offenses (other than the distribution exemption) and violations of probation and parole will not be included.
Those outside of Atlantic and Cape May counties also will not be handled. But those with warrants out of Cumberland, Salem and Gloucester counties can get assistance on how to handle their issue in one of those municipalities.
Bench warrants for failure to appear on driving under the influence tickets can only be handled for Atlantic City. An Atlantic City Municipal Court Judge will be there.
Defendants not eligible will be given information to address the bench warrant on their own and/or offered the opportunity to surrender in a safe area.
While no arrests will be made, those who wish to turn themselves in will not be arrested in front of any other participants, Houck said.
Other help will also be on hand, including representatives from the Housing Authority, drug and alcohol treatment, mental health counseling, expungements, drug court, re-entry services, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families/food stamps and health care screenings.
Participants must bring a government identification, such as a driver’s license, birth certificate, photo identification or school ID.
To find out your Atlantic City Municipal Court complaint/ticket number call 609-347-5560.

Story was first posted 3:01 p.m. April 30. It has been updated to note it’s happening this weekend.