The Stillwater Municipal Court will discontinue its longstanding practice of discounting parking fines for early payment beginning November 6, 2017.
On October 2, 2017, the City Council adopted Ordinance 3384. This ordinance eliminated Stillwater City Code provisions authorizing the collection of a discounted fine for certain parking offenses if such payment was made within forty-eight hours of citation issuance. The remainder of the existing code sections governing parking were not amended and remain in effect.
This change is in response to a recent report on municipal court operations by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) following its investigation of the events occurring in Ferguson, Missouri. The DOJ examined how fines were assessed and collected in municipal courts. One of the findings was that “discounting” fines for early payment and “doubling” of fines for payment after the discount expired discriminated against the poor and those persons unable to pay immediately without any mechanism for prior judicial determination. Based on these findings, the Stillwater City Attorney’s Office recommended to the City Council that the existing ordinance be amended to provide for a single fine for each of the different parking offenses.
Ordinance 3384 did not raise the existing fines. Only the language providing for an early payment discount was deleted.
A copy of Ordinance 3384 is attached to this press release.
View (PDF): Ordinance 3384