ACLU of Colorado Letter Prompts Sheriff to Improve Database Accuracy for Tracking Unpaid Tickets

Criminal Justice


In response to a letter from the ACLU of Colorado, the Boulder County Sheriff made improvements to a computer database to lessen the chance that persons would be wrongfully arrested for tickets they had already paid. The ACLU of Colorado received a letter from a Boulder resident who was arrested after a traffic stop because the police officer showed that he had a warrant out for his arrest for an unpaid ticket. In fact, the person had in fact paid the ticket months before. A letter from the ACLU of Colorado to Boulder County Sheriff Joseph Pelle requested that the Sheriff examine any “clerical or computer” errors that were causing warrants to issue for tickets that had actually been paid. In response, the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office investigated the problem and found that in this case, the payment had been applied to another person’s ticket. In addition, the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office made changes to their computer database to ensure more accurate tracking of the payment of tickets, lessening the likelihood that future residents would be arrested for a ticket that they had already paid.


Taylor Pendergrass , ACLU of Colorado Staff Attorney

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