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What if you have an outstanding default or arrest warrant?

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Produced by Deborah Harris, Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Reviewed December 2017

You are not eligible for TAFDC if you have an outstanding default or arrest warrant issued by any Massachusetts court. 106 C.M.R.§ 701.110(C). A default warrant may be issued when you miss a court date or when you do not pay a fine, court costs, restitution or other monies ordered by the court or by state law. For example, a default warrant may be issued when someone fails to pay speeding tickets or child support.

DTA will give you 30 days to show that you have resolved the default or arrest warrant or show that the court made a mistake in issuing it. If you do not give proofs to DTA within 30 days, you will get a notice reducing your TAFDC by the incremental amount for one person. You have a right to appeal this reduction. See Appeal Rights. The rest of your family should remain eligible. Being excluded from the assistance unit explains how your income should be counted in figuring your family’s eligibility.

If you get a notice from DTA or the Bureau of Special Investigations (see What is an intentional program violation or welfare fraud?) that you have an outstanding warrant, or you already know that you have one, you should contact an advocate immediately for advice and possible referral to a lawyer who can represent you. Because different courts have different ways of handling warrants, you should try to obtain a court-appointed lawyer or a private attorney to help you resolve the warrant.

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