Update: Can't Come to Court? St. Louis City Municipal Court Comes to You

Compliance Week Extended Two Days

March 6, 2015 | 4 min reading time
Police lights and city seal

Update 3.13.2015

In a concerted effort to help even more people clear their warrant status and get a new court date so that they may satisfy their obligations to the law, the St. Louis City Municipal Court will set up two remote locations on Monday, March 16 and Tuesday, March 17, 2015. This is the City's first remote court location of its kind.

More than 1,400 people already have taken advantage of the Court Compliance Week, but thousands of others remain in warrant status.

On Monday and Tuesday between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.*, anyone with a warrant for a nonviolent City ordinance violation can present themselves at one of the following locations to receive a new court date on the spot instead of risking a trip to jail for failing to appear in court:

Carondelet Park Recreation Complex
930 Holly Hills Ave
St. Louis, MO 63111

O'Fallon Park Recreation Complex
4343 West Florissant
St. Louis, MO 63115

St. Louis City Municipal Court
1520 Market St. (enter off 16th Street)
St. Louis, MO 63103

 *Regular court hours 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

People can check whether they have a warrant out for their arrest by searching for their name, date of birth, and zip code on the City Court's website. Those in warrant must show up in person with a photo ID at one of the above referenced locations to have their warrants canceled and new court dates set at no cost. 

"I hope that by bringing our judges and court staff to neighborhood rec centers that we can better serve people who might be afraid of the court system or who might have trouble getting to court," Mayor Francis Slay said. "A missed court date for a non-violent violation should not stand in the way of a job, access to housing, or anything else."

The extended compliance week comes on the heels of a massive warrant forgiveness program initiated by Mayor Slay between October 1 and December 31, 2014, during which the City of St. Louis automatically lifted more than 220,000 arrest warrants stemming from minor traffic violations. More than 7,500 people took advantage of the grace period by closing out a total of nearly 27,000 cases.

While satisfying their obligations to the law, they also avoided going back into warrant status and risking the chance of being arrested on a bench warrant for failing to show up in court to get their affairs in order.

In December 2014, the St. Louis City Municipal Court also adopted a new rule to take into account violators' ability to pay when deciding the appropriate punishment for minor traffic and municipal offenses.

"The point of enforcing traffic and other laws is to change behavior and increase public safety, not to break the bank for poor and working class people. A $100 fine for someone working a minimum wage job is a real burden. For them, the punishment exceeds the severity of the crime," Mayor Slay said. "So, out of fairness, I asked our four municipal court judges to issue a rule to make it clear that when they sentence someone for violating municipal law, the punishment should be in proportion to that violator's ability to pay. The rule also allows judges to give violators more time to pay their fines, if that is appropriate."

The St. Louis City Municipal Court has special dockets, payment plans, and alternatives to fines and incarceration, like community service, for people who cannot afford to pay. 

Original Post

Anyone with a warrant for a nonviolent City ordinance violation can turn themselves in to the Municipal Court to receive a new court date on the spot instead of risking a trip to jail for failing to appear in court.

From 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, March 9 – Friday, March 13, 2015, individuals in warrant can come to the St. Louis City Municipal Court at 1520 Market Street (enter from 16th Street) to cancel warrants and get a new court date at no cost.

Warrant forgiveness is good only for City ordinance violations, including but not limited to: truancy, nuisance, moving and non-moving violations. People with state charges or DUI/DWI charges are not eligible for warrant forgiveness.

It's important to note that the City of St. Louis offers warrant forgiveness all day, every day for hardship cases. But, twice a year, for a week straight, the Court assigns extra staff dedicated to lifting warrants and reassigning court dates for non-violent City ordinance violations.

"A missed court date for a non-violent violation should not stand in the way of a job, access to housing, or anything else," Mayor Francis Slay said. "This compliance program is not amnesty from your obligations to the law, but it will clear your warrant and get you a new court date to get in front of a judge."

This compliance week comes on the heels of a massive warrant forgiveness program initiated by Mayor Slay between October 1 and December 31, 2014, during which the City of St. Louis automatically lifted more than 220,000 arrest warrants stemming from minor traffic violations. More than 7,500 people took advantage of the grace period by closing out a total of nearly 27,000 cases.

While satisfying their obligations to the law, they also avoided going back into warrant status and risking the chance of being arrested on a bench warrant for failing to show up in court to get their affairs in order.

In December 2014, the St. Louis City Municipal Court also adopted a new rule to take into account violators' ability to pay when deciding the appropriate punishment for minor traffic and municipal offenses.

"The point of enforcing traffic and other laws is to change behavior and increase public safety, not to break the bank for poor and working class people. A $100 fine for someone working a minimum wage job is a real burden. For them, the punishment exceeds the severity of the crime," Mayor Slay said. "So, out of fairness, I directed our four municipal court judges to issue a rule to make it clear that when they sentence someone for violating municipal law, the punishment should be in proportion to that violator's ability to pay. The rule also allows judges to give violators more time to pay their fines, if that is appropriate."

The St. Louis City Municipal Court has special dockets, payment plans, and alternatives to fines and incarceration, like community service, for people who cannot afford to pay. 

Publicizing the upcoming compliance week reminds people to get a new court date – free of charge –to get out of warrant status. People can check whether they have a warrant out for their arrest by searching for their name, date of birth, and zip code on the City Court's website.

  • Department:
    Municipal Court
    Office of the Mayor
  • Topic:
    Courts and Justice System

Related Stories

Was this page helpful?      



Comments are helpful!
500 character limit

Feedback is anonymous.