Warrant Prevention Results

These warrant prevention results show what one court has achieved. You may also be interested in other case studies of courts with Matterhorn online dispute resolution or to learn more about warrant prevention with Matterhorn.

61st District Court, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Case Study

You look at 550 cases — that’s 550 individuals that won’t be spending a couple days in jail. Five hundred fifty less arrests that officers have to make. And all that adds up.

—Gary Secor, 61st District
Court Administrator, after the first year of use.

The Court Sought to Intervene Before the Warrant was Issued

Illustration of the time the court and law enforcement takes to arrest someone for a failure to appear warrant.

Source: Rosenbaum DI, Hutsell N, Tomkins AJ, Bornstein BH, Herian MN, and Neeley EM  (2012). Using court date reminder postcards to reduce courts' failure to appear rates: a benefit-cost analysis. Judicature. 95 (4), 177-187.

Warrant management is a complex and time-consuming process that presents numerous challenges for courts and law enforcement.

Issuing just one warrant involves docketing time and coordination for the clerks, administrative time and coordination, the labor to issue the warrant (which includes significant paperwork), as well as the enforcement of the warrants. For Grand Rapids police departments, arresting and processing failure to appear warrants takes much-needed time from their other critical responsibilities.

The 61st District Court in Grand Rapids, Michigan sought a novel solution to the warrant challenge: a “pre-warrant” intervention. The Court used Matterhorn warrant prevention to reach people who were about to be issued a failure-to-appear warrant.

At the time Grand Rapids launched Matterhorn in August of 2015, Court Administrator Gary Secor estimated that Grand Rapids issued over 5,500 bench warrants each year for failure to appear in court. (Not including the number of people who were issued a warrant for failing to pay fines to the court.) The primary objective for the court and Matterhorn was to reduce the number of new bench warrants—slowing the growth of the warrant backlog, as well as saving the court significant time, money, and energy.

Benefits of Matterhorn ODR

The pre-warrant intervention module in the 61st District Court reached its goals in its first year. Approximately 9% of those eligible resolve their case online after receiving the initial postcard. By using Matterhorn to prevent just over 9% of post-adjudication failure to appear warrants in Grand Rapids, the court avoids going through these processes 550 times per year. This translates to immeasurable savings for the court.

Prevent Warrants

Avert
9%
of warrants

Keep People from Arrest

Avoid
550
arrests/year

What the Public Says

“It was very very helpful and easy to understand and use. I probably would have found out of my court date, but much later.
This saved me so much time."

“Thanks. Because I have been going through alot. My mail actually was being put in the wrong apartment slot. So I thought I caught up on fines....”

Ongoing Achievement with Matterhorn

Update! As of January 2018, the court has headed off over one thousand bench warrants with Matterhorn. Read the announcement.

61st District Court achieves over 1,000 warrants prevented with Matterhorn

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.

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