New York City DAs Announce Dismissal of 700,000 Open Summonses

NEW YORK -

The five borough district attorneys in New York City announced Thursday that nearly 700,000 summons warrants that are 10 years or older will be vacated in the next few weeks.

The warrants in question were issued for failure to pay a ticket for a minor infraction, subjecting individuals to arrest as well as impeding an application for citizenship, to secure employment or obtain public housing. They mainly stem from summonses issued for riding a bicycle on the sidewalk, drinking beer in public, disorderly conduct, or being in a park after dark.

“By asking the court to purge these old warrants, we are removing a hindrance to many people’s lives,” said Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark. “Those who committed minor offenses a decade ago or longer and have not been in trouble with the law pose no threat to public safety today. These warrants bog down the court system.”

There are approximately 1.5 million open summons warrants citywide. These summons warrants, when left unresolved, subject those who have them to an automatic arrest when questioned by police on the street or during a traffic stop.

Approximately 143,000 warrants will be dismissed in Brooklyn; 166,000 in the Bronx; 240,000 in Manhattan; and approximately 100,000 in Queens.