Dallas accepting canned goods to reduce warrant fee, avoid arrest

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The Dallas Marshal’s Office has come up with a plan to help the North Texas Food Bank.

People with outstanding city of Dallas warrants can make a donation to the food bank, which was drained by the government shutdown, and make arrangements on their cases before marshals move out to arrest them.

Anyone who brings in three canned goods that will go to the North Texas Food Bank will have their $50 warrant fee forgiven. They’ll be able to make an appointment to handle any outstanding cases before a municipal judge and not worry about being picked up on an outstanding warrant.

“We had so many furloughed employees that missed a couple of paychecks,” said Anna Kurian with the North Texas Food Bank. “So we were very glad to be able to go to DFW Love Field and have another couple extra distributions for those people that were impacted.”

“With what was going on with the federal employees, that now is a great opportunity for the people that have cases,” said Dallas City Marshal Gary Lindsey.

The Dallas City Marshal's Office routinely jails people with outstanding city warrants. But what's happening ahead of their March round-up is not so routine. They are offering people a chance while filling a dire and desperate need.

“Bring in three can goods that will be donated to the North Texas Food Bank, and we will allow the warrant fee, if they have a warrant out there, to be waived,” Lindsey said.

Starting Feb. 9, people will have an opportunity to go to the parking lot of the Dallas Municipal Court at 2014 Main Street to drop off their bag of canned goods and receive a voucher. They will be able to take it upstairs to a judge so they can set a date to take care of their business.

“So it’s three canned goods for each warrant fee, if they have more than one case,” Lindsey explained. “And that'll start from about 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. And then next week, they'll have extended court hours up until 7:00 p.m. And that’ll run through Wednesday.”

The food bank collection boxes will be at the Dallas Municipal Court Building and at the Marshal's Office, where fines can be paid 24 hours a day.

“It’s even for the employees to be able to give back to the community,” Lindsey said. “So the employees are gonna be involved in the program, too.”

“After the holidays, we really see a dip as far as donations, volunteers and food donations,” Kurian said. “So really, this couldn’t come at a better time here in February.”

The program is only good for people with misdemeanor city warrants and not violent felons.

Click here for more information on the program.