Saginaw County Friend of the Court is trying to give parents who are behind on child support another chance to make things right without getting arrested.
“It’s to try to help give people a clean slate forward,” said Brittany Dougherty, the Director of the Saginaw County Friend of the Court.
Today was their amnesty day at the Buena Vista Community Center. Anyone with a bench warrant related to unpaid child support could come in and pay. In turn, their warrant would be dismissed with no questions asked.
Dougherty said this service is desperately needed in Saginaw.
“We had about 1,800 outstanding bench warrants in Saginaw County, so we’re trying to get rid of some of those and help people be compliant with the Friend of the Court,” said Dougherty.
Dougherty said there was a large turnout at the event and she believes it’s because it was held at a neutral site.
“They might need a review on their child support, or they’re just afraid to come to the court because they have an open bench warrant, so that’s what today’s about,” said Dougherty. “Giving another opportunity for people to get in contract with us.”
Another amnesty event will be held this upcoming Friday at the YMCA in Saginaw from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. They ask that you bring $500 cash or money order per warrant.
Dougherty said she wants people to think of the Friend of the Court as a friend.
“We are here to help people,” said Dougherty. “We’re a public service office.”