Sean Lewis spent his 36th birthday at the Escambia County Clerk’s Office trying to resolve his overdue court fines and fees so that he could get his driver’s license back. He owes money on four felony cases dating back to 2003. Sean never made payments on his cases because he felt that the odds were stacked against him because the amounts were so substantial and in two of his cases the fines and fees were converted to civil liens so he felt he did not have to worry about those.
At the end of August, Sean received notification from the clerk’s office that his license was suspended for non-payment of fines and fees in the amount of $1,148.00 on one of the cases he owed money on. Upon arriving at the clerk’s office in early September, he was told that the amount he owes in fines and fees was actually much higher than the amount listed on the notice that he had recently received. He found out that because he owes money on three additional cases in Escambia County that in order to get the clearance he needed to get his license back that he would have to pay those fines and fees as well. Sean was placed on a payment plan consisting of all four cases that he owes money on totaling $4,738.74 . He had to pay $107 to enroll in the payment plan which consisted of a $25.00 application fee and a deposit. His minimum monthly payment going forward is $50.00 per month. Sean was advised that if he misses one payment his license will be suspended again and the full amount he owes will be due. He said that he did this because he needs his license in order to care for a friend in Alabama who has end stage liver disease. As a caretaker Sean drives his friend to doctors appointments, picks up his medications and does the grocery shopping among other day to day tasks. He said that a suspension of his license would not only greatly impact him but would impact the life of his friend, literally.