JAMESTOWN, NY – August 17, 2023 – Over the past few weeks, Jamestown Code Enforcement Officers have been granted multiple bench warrants, by a Jamestown City Court Judge, for individuals who have repeatedly ignored notices of code violations and subsequent appearance tickets for Housing Court. One of two warrants issued has been successfully executed by Jamestown Police Department Nuisance Officer Zach Sandberg thus far. As a consequence, the offender was required to spend the night in jail until court arraignments resumed the next day.
Today, Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist and the Jamestown Department of Development have announced that they will continue the push to enforce appearance tickets.
“Chronic absenteeism has unfortunately been a feature in Housing Court,” said Mayor Sundquist in a statement. “Repeat offenders have developed a mentality that if they skip court, their violation will be forgotten about and eventually forgiven. That is stopping now. If you do not show up to Court, you will be arrested and held accountable for your actions.”
Director of Development Crystal Surdyk added, “The purpose and goal of Code Enforcement is to resolve code violations in a collaborative manner that safeguards and enhances a neighborhood’s livability. However, if someone is purposely avoiding their responsibility to their community and consistently ignoring appearance tickets, they now will be issued a bench warrant. We have long pushed for this form of accountability, and we are pleased that the Court is taking an aggressive approach to hold offenders accountable.”
Surdyk notes that, in general, only about one-quarter of code cases escalate to the level of non-compliance that results in the issuance of an appearance ticket. “In most cases, the violator voluntarily complies with the corrections demanded by the Code Enforcement officers. It is the most egregious, and the most persistent of violations, that are elevated to an appearance ticket.”
“Code violations are crimes,” said Director of Public Safety and Jamestown Police Chief Tim Jackson. “There is no excuse for not showing up to court if you are issued an appearance ticket. If a bench warrant is issued for your failure to appear, you will face the consequences of arrest, and you may have to spend the night in jail until you can be arraigned.”
To learn more about Code Enforcement complaints or check the status for a specific active case, visit www.jamestownny.gov or call the Department of Development at 716-483-7541.