Some Yakima County criminals not paying court fees

YAKIMA COUNTY, Wash. -- KIMA learned criminals here in Yakima County aren't paying their court fees.

In fact, more than 80-percent of the money is outstanding. It could wind up costing you the taxpayer if the courts don't find a way to collect.

For years, Yakima County has been losing out on thousands of dollars from unpaid court fees, but new notices that have gone out are now bringing money back to the victims and back to the county.

"Last time we printed out for the state auditor a listing. And it's been a number of years ago, the stack for associated with financial obligations that were old was about that tall," said Kim Eaton.

Eaton manages the Yakima County Clerk's Office and says that pile is only getting bigger because more cases are coming through court.

Thousands of dollars in revenue is at stake for Yakima County each year. Money you may have to make up for if it can't collect.

But, the clerk's office is doing something about it. Yakima County is sending reminders in the mail.

And, this simple piece of paper seems to be working. In just seven months, Yakima County received more than $41,000.

"Criminal transactions where we have received money this year is $8,234. Juvenile transactions that we've received money is $1,334," Eaton said.

But, is it helping?

"It's an improvement, yes. Not much of a big change but it's an improvement," said Eaton.