Atlanta City Court mistake proves costly to taxpayers

An Atlanta City Court mistake puts one local man in handcuffs for an unjustified sleepover at the Fulton County Jail.

Atlanta City Council members were told on Monday to settle a lawsuit. The court snafu is costly to the taxpayers.

The man will get $130,000.

So, what happened?

The individual got a traffic citation. He made arrangements and paid the fine.

He thought the court matter was finished. However, a case is never finished before clerk staff complete and execute all the follow-up legal documents.

An error was made, making it seem the old ticket was still active.

The driver had, without his knowledge, a new court date, which he did not respond to.

His name was put in the failure to appear file with a warrant taken out in his name.

The driver got stopped for a completely different traffic matter and the responding officer ran a computer check.

The individual tried without any success to explain he had handled the matter earlier.

The error by the clerk’s office meant he had to spend 24 hours behind bars.

A lawyer who does not represent that driver explained what anyone can do to protect themselves.

"Once you resolve your court case, get a copy and keep the document in your glove box," said Bruce Hagen. "It is also a good idea to take a picture with your phone. I think a reasonable officer will accept that."