Online Amnesty at the 31st District Court through March 2018

Update! Amnesty Program Extended until April 15, 2018.

Owe money to the 31st District court? Not sure? Well, now is a great time to check online because the 31st District Court will hold a fine and fee amnesty. People who owe the court for fines and fees associated with civil infractions may be eligible for a break on what they owe if they pay before April 15, 2018. 

Read more…

Traffic and Warrant Resolution Results – 14A District Court

This summary showcases the traffic and warrant resolution results in Washtenaw County, MI, District Court 14A.

You may be interested in other traffic court results with Matterhorn. For a study of six courts, see Ticket and Minor Infraction Resolution Outcomes—Six Courts.

14A District Court, Washtenaw County, Michigan

Traffic Ticket resolution

A Win-Win-Win

It seems to be a win-win-win for all the participants.
Processes that used to take whole days now take only minutes.

—Bob Ciolek, 14A District
Court Administrator

The Court Sought to Simplify Scheduling and Expand Access

Prior to Matterhorn, the District 14A court invested time, energy, and labor to schedule and hold hearings for relatively minor offenses.

Then the court offered online traffic ticket and warrant resolution via Matterhorn. The four courthouses and six police agencies in the district found time and cost savings through expanding access to justice.

In 2013, the 14A District Court had a high volume of in-person mediations across its four courthouses. These mediations (equivalent to an “informal hearing” in similar district courts) were a significant burden on the court’s time and resources.

The Court Selected Online Dispute Resolution

The court recognized how online dispute resolution (ODR) increases transparency, consistency, and fairness. ODR also reduces any potential perception of bias based on physical appearance, race, class, or immigration status.

Additionally, the court was able to replicate yet simplify current processes online.

Traffic and Warrant Resolution Results

Washtenaw County has reduced their in-person mediations and formal hearings with Matterhorn online ticket and warrant resolution.

Before

3,122 informal hearings in 2013

An estimated 1-2 months to schedule and attend a hearing

An average of 45-60 minutes for a traffic violation informal hearing

After

1,320 cases reviewed online

$218,690 collected

In person hearings reduced by ~100 hearings/month across 6 dockets

Online cases close more quickly and close with less staff handling time. Additionally, 14A has been able to speed up revenue collection as a result of closing cases sooner.

Prior to Matterhorn, people would often schedule a formal hearing if they were unsatisfied with the outcome of their informal hearing. One important and unexpected result for the court is that fewer people now request formal hearings. Most people accept the court’s online decision, even when it is not in their favor.

Do the same work in

<20%

of the time.

Resolve cases

72%

faster

Get paid sooner

94%

paid in thirty days

Online cases close more quickly and close with less staff handling time. Additionally, 14A has been able to speed up revenue collection as a result of closing cases sooner.

Prior to Matterhorn, people would often schedule a formal hearing if they were unsatisfied with the outcome of their informal hearing. One important and unexpected result for the court is that fewer people now request formal hearings. Most people accept the court’s online decision, even when it is not in their favor.

The six police agencies in Washtenaw County benefit too. Officers go to court less often.

I have the benefit of logging in whenever I want from anywhere.
I don’t have to have to schedule a specific date and time to attend mediations.

Shawn Booth, Pittsfield Police Officer

Increase Public Access and Customer Satisfaction

Serve the missing

39%

The public also appreciates their benefits. Over 90% said they found the website easy-to-use and said they understood the status of their case throughout the online process.

Thirty-nine percent of people who used the system said they would otherwise not have been able to come to court. Through offering online ticket and warrant resolution with Matterhorn, District 14A has expanded access to justice by 64%.

“It was very easy to use especially seeing I was going out of town.”

“It did save me from missing a half-day of work, so that was good!”

“I haven’t been to court before and I wouldn't have known what to do, where to go, what to say...so it really took a lot of stress from me to do this online.”

What is Matterhorn?

Matterhorn is online dispute resolution.

Matterhorn gives the public their “day in court” from their own device and from anywhere. This access allows people to stay at home, at school, and at work.
Judges, magistrates, and court staff remain involved, yet spend less on these activities. Matterhorn allows courts to offer 24/7 service without 24/7 staff. It allows the police to stay on patrol. It increases customer satisfaction.

Matterhorn integrates with many CMS and payment systems. It is software-as-a-service.

Get these proven outcomes into your community.

Request your demo now!

Warrant Prevention

ShieldWarrant management is a complex and time-consuming process that presents numerous challenges for courts and law enforcement. Online warrant prevention helps you avoid adding to your open warrants by notifying people and averting the warrant before it happens. See what the 61st District Court, Grand Rapids, MI, has achieved with online warrant prevention.

"In many instances, there could be a valid reason for the no-show. Maybe you couldn’t arrange for childcare that day. Maybe you didn’t have transportation. Maybe you lost your hearing notice date and you couldn’t find it."

– Gary Secor, 61st District
Court Administrator

Online Warrant Prevention Configurable Steps

Step 1 - The Court Notifies the Individual Before the Warrant is Issued

Once the court determines a person has entered “pre-warrant” status, the system notifies them via: SMS (text messages), email messages, and traditional postcard mailings. These messages include instructions on how to resolve a case online and invites the individual the court's online warrant intervention URL.

Step 2 - People Take Steps to Resolve the Warrant

After people become aware of their potential warrant(s), they are able to begin the steps to resolve it. The first step is to enter their case information on the website and answer questions as to why they did not pay their fines or appear in court on their scheduled date. This information has provided valuable insight into barriers to access - including being unable to take time off of work, or to arrange transportation, as well as financial challenges and the ability to pay. In addition, the court staff is able to read through these messages with more efficiency than addressing them in individual in-person meetings or phone calls, and can expedite the court date rescheduling process.

Step 3 - The Court May Reschedule the Court Date and Avert the Warrant

Once the individual has submitted their case information, the process is mostly finished. The information is forwarded to the senior criminal clerk who is able to reset the show-cause hearing date once if satisfied with the citizen’s explanation. In some instances, the clerk will consult with the judge offline. However, the majority of people receive a new court date and their countdown to a warrant being issued is reset as they work to resolve their case.

"My feelings are — if people are going out of their way to contact us, then they do really want to resolve the issue and by and large, for the most part, we will probably reschedule the hearing."

– Tanya Todd, 61st District
Court Clerk

How it Works

The Matterhorn warrant intervention module works directly with your court or agency's case management system. In this way, the court sees all relevant information about the case and can reschedule court dates as needed.

The court determines its own eligibility criteria and process. Matterhorn makes warrant prevention available from anywhere at any time. Courts may expand their warrant prevention options with an ability-to-pay assessment.

Online Warrant Prevention Benefits

Benefits to your Court

  • Avoids adding to your backlog by preventing new warrants
  • Saves staff time
  • Increases public and participant satisfaction
  • Configurable to your court’s unique approaches

Benefits to Law Enforcement

  • Avoids adding to the number of active warrants in your jurisdiction
  • Averts transportation and incarceration costs
  • Increases public and officer safety

Benefits to the Public

  • Connect with your court in a safe and
    trusted way
  • Mobile-friendly, on-demand 24/7 access
  • Convenient for those who cannot take time off of work or travel to the courthouse

Online Warrant Prevention and Intervention with Matterhorn

Warrant Resolution

Shield

Ideally, members of the public would take care of their legal obligations immediately, but this does not always happen. Sometimes people neglect to comply, by accident or intentionally.

They might not pay a fine or fee or they might fail to appear for a hearing. In those cases, the court will issue a failure-to-pay (FTP) or failure-to-appear (FTA) warrant.

People with outstanding warrants fear arrest. Alternatively, people may simply not be available to come to court due to work, school, or family commitments. As a result, courts accumulate a backlog of open warrants.

Matterhorn online warrant resolution allows people to communicate with the court easily to resolve their legal obligations without coming to court. It allows courts to clear cases that are in arrears.

Online Warrant Resolution Configurable Steps

Step 1 - People Search and Access

From a link on your website, people can search online within Matterhorn to check if they have eligible FTA or FTP warrants. People see if they have any open warrants, then learn what they must do to resolve them.

Step 2 - Citizens Request

People can explain to the court why they missed their payment or their hearing.

They can request a payment plan and/or a new hearing, depending on the situation.

Step 3 - The Court Decides

The court reviews each request and can accept or reject it.

Then, the court may create a payment plan or schedule a new hearing, as appropriate.

Step 4 - Matterhorn Notifies and Reminds

Matterhorn communicates with people by email and text to notify them of next steps and any changes to the status of their cases.

Matterhorn also reminds them of important due dates.

The court determines its own eligibility criteria and process. Matterhorn makes warrant resolution available from anywhere at any time. Courts may expand their warrant resolution options with an ability-to-pay assessment.

Online Warrant Resolution Benefits

Benefits to your Court

  • Reduces backlog by resolving open warrants
  • Saves staff time
  • Increases public and participant satisfaction
  • Configurable to your court’s unique approaches

Benefits to Law Enforcement

  • Reduces number of active warrants in your jurisdiction
  • Higher payment compliance
  • Averts transportation and incarceration costs
  • Increases public and officer safety

Benefits to the Public

  • Connect with your court in a safe and trusted way
  • Mobile-friendly, on-demand 24/7 access
  • Convenient for those who cannot take time off of work or travel to the courthouse

Plea Online

Shield

Online plea converts the slow process of traditional plea entry by a mailed form into a quick digital process.
Matterhorn online plea preserves all the important elements of your current process and speeds it up.

Online pleas make a difference for citizens with eligible cases when they

  • do not live or work nearby,
  • are incarcerated,
  • have a significant barrier to attend court.

Matterhorn is configurable to focus on steps required by the court. Citizens can interact with the court privately and securely to take responsibility for their situation.

Cases are resolved in days, not months. And it preserves your discretion: the court decides whether someone may enter their plea online and makes the decision on their plea.

Online Plea Configurable Steps

Step 1 - Citizens Search

From a link on your website, citizens can search online within Matterhorn to check eligibility.

Step 2 - Citizens Request

A citizen with an eligible case submits a plea request online.

Step 3 - Judicial Review

Depending on your process, a magistrate or judge reviews the request and can accept or reject the plea.

Step 4 - All Parties Agree

All parties can agree and digitally sign. Then, the hearing or sentencing can occur.

Digital Plea Entry is More Efficient than Plea-by-Mail

Benefits to your Court

  • Digitized pleas—all parties sign one final document online
  • Final signed forms can be printed or sent to your document storage or e-filing system
  • Save staff time
  • Configured to your court’s unique approaches
  • Resolve cases in days instead of weeks or months

Benefits to Citizens & Community

  • Connect with your court in a safe and trusted way
  • Those with geographical or access barriers (such as incarceration) can plea and resolve their case
  • Convenient and free-to-use
  • Digitally documented case history
  • Text message and email notifications of plea status

What is Matterhorn?

Matterhorn is a web-based platform designed to allow courts to handle large volumes of infractions, disputes, warrants, and other cases—all online.