MEMPHIS, Tenn. - A Mississippi man thought he was taking advantage of an opportunity to deal with a legal issue and stay out of jail, but he went to the wrong court and ended up behind bars.
Operation Safe Surrender in Southaven offers a chance for people with outstanding violation of probation warrants and failure to appear warrants to pay their fines without the threat of jail time.
It’s offered by Southaven Municipal Court. However, that offer does not extend to other courts in DeSoto County.
One man and his family found out the limitations the hard way.
According to his mother, 34-year-old Mario Scott went to the DeSoto County Justice Court in Southaven Friday morning thinking it was part of Operation Safe Surrender. He was wrong, and he went to jail.
Scott didn't realize only Southaven Municipal Court participates in Operation Safe Surrender.
Mario’s mother, Renata Scott, told FOX13, “he was in the wrong place, and when he went there they arrested him.”
Mario was wanted on a failure to appear warrant from 2017, because he didn't show up to court for a driving with a suspended license charge.
The court system could not tell us what the charge stemmed from, neither could his mom.
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“I believe he had a license expired, but that was a charge in 2017. He went to jail and was supposed to reappear, which was to report to court, but he didn't make it.”
Scott's mother said because her son was trying to do the right thing, the county court should have just let him pay the fine and go on his way.
“I am confused. They should have just told him he was in the wrong place, and he had a warrant. Say 'you have a warrant son...' just be courteous enough because you are trying to take care of your charges here... they should let him go, so he could take care of one problem.”
Mario's mother said he was trying to do the right thing. He also only had one court problem in the beginning, and now he has multiple.
She also told FOX13 she is worried her son could lose his new job because of the arrest.
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