Offense to now requires mandatory court appearance
BY KEVIN BONESKE
Parents and others who are accused of contributing to the truancy of children from school in Oneida County will be required to appear in court when they receive a citation.
The County Board approved a resolution Tuesday to amend the county code to change a contributing to truancy citation, which now carries a penalty of a $100 forfeiture with $249 in total costs for a first offense and a $200 forfeiture with $375 in total costs for a subsequent offense, to a mandatory appearance in circuit court.
County corporation counsel Brian Desmond said a citation for contributing to truancy can be issued to a parent who has a child and routinely fails to get that child to school after being warned of the consequences.
“What we’re talking about here is contributing to truancy,” Desmond said. “This would be separate from our truancy program.”
County chief deputy Dan Hess said change is being made for a contributing to truancy citation so that a mandatory court appearance “will actually give the judge an opportunity to see what the family dynamics are in the home to be able to determine the fine or what the judge decides to do.”
The county previously adopted state law related to contributing to truancy into the county code as a citation offense as opposed to a criminal offense with people issued citations able to pay the fine amounts and not have to show up in court.
The resolution amending the code states the county’s truancy program “would be better served by having contributing to truancy citations be a mandatory appearance in circuit court, with a bond amount to be set by the court.”
The ordinance amendment will take effect the day after passage and publication as required by law.