The Baker City Court will begin a program July 1 in which the court will offer a payment extension to people who have had a bench warrant issued for their arrest after they failed to appear in court.

Normally, to avoid arrest a person must first pay a $50 warrant fee to have it recalled, said Shannan Williams, deputy civil department clerk in the City Court.

During the month of July, the court will recall a bench warrant if a person agrees to pay a $50 warrant fee within two to four weeks.

Once they agree to the payment extension, they will be given a new court date, Williams said.

The premise of the program, Williams said, is to ease the backlog of more than 3,000 warrants while offering an incentive for people to take care of their warrants before a new law goes into effect Aug. 1. The new law will add another $50 to the warrant fee.

The new fee will help pay for renovations at the old Baton Rouge City Court jail that’s to be turned into a misdemeanor jail.

Anyone who has to clear a bench warrant after Aug. 1 will pay $100 per warrant.

People can find out whether they have a bench warrant by calling the Baker City Court at (225) 778-1866 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. or the Baker Police Department at (225) 775-6000 from 4 p.m. to 8:30 a.m.