• Orange County residents have chance for clean slate, remove unpaid court fees

    By: Len Kiese , WFTV Web Staff


    ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - More than 100 Orange County residents with past legal troubles have a chance at a clean slate.

    The residents faced a judge Friday where they were presented with the rare opportunity to strike a deal on unpaid court fees.

    Carl Spain told Channel 9’s Len Kiese that the bumpy road of life led to court fees and fines hanging over his head.

    "I can finally get back on the right road as far as getting my life back together,” Spain said.

    With the help of volunteers from "He Got Up," an outreach event for Orlando's underserved, two Orange County judges agreed to review cases of dozens of people with unpaid court costs, fees and fines.

    "They may owe $500, but it might as well be $5 million because they can't afford to pay it,” said Beatrice Brown, attorney with He Got Up legal services.

    Many of the people were given options. Instead of paying all the fees up front, they could make payment arrangements or work the debt off with community service at a rate of $10 an hour.

    “And I got community service, so that’s a blessing,” said Victoria Felix.

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    Felix lost her driver's license a decade ago because of unpaid fees. A community service agreement granted by Chief Judge Frederick J. Lauten will help her get it back.

    "So I'm blessed. That's all I can say. I'm so tickled,” Felix said.

    People will get another chance to wipe their slate clean May 19. People in Osceola County get their chance June 2.

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