Ability to Pay Webinar Description
Ability-to-pay determinations are essential when governments use money-based alternative sanctions, like fines, to enforce laws. One longstanding difficulty in the U.S. has been the extreme lack of guidance on how courts measure a litigant’s ability to pay. The consequence has been that the measurement process can be inefficient, inconsistent, unpredictable, and susceptible to bias.
Fortunately, technology can improve the process and the outcomes. In particular, online ability-to-pay assessment tools increase litigant access, reduce costs, and ensure consistent and fair treatment. The online tool discussed in this session streamlines and standardizes determinations and seeks to make the use of fines as sanctions more effective and less biased.
In this session, J.J. Prescott of the University of Michigan School of Law and Judge Alexis G. Krot of the 31st District Court in Hamtramck, Michigan will discuss using an online ability to pay tool. Prescott will present information gained through interviews, surveys, and initial analysis of the experiences of six courts that recently adopted an online ability-to-pay assessment tool for use in areas with above-average poverty rates. Judge Krot will share how the 31st District Court uses this tool and the response she has received from court users.
There is no charge for this webinar.
This webinar will interest professionals interested in fines, fees, and bail practices, including judges, clerks, court administrators, mediators, and attorneys.
Through this webinar, participants will:
- Gain perspective on how innovative courts use technology to improve how they assess ability to pay
- Hear the experience of the 31st District Court
- Get your questions answered and hear answers to questions of other attendees
Ability to Pay Panelists
J.J. Prescott is a Professor of Law at the University of Michigan. He is the principal investigator of the UM Online Court Project, which uses technology to help people facing warrants, fines, and minor charges resolve their disputes with the government and courts online and without the need to hire an attorney. The UM Online Court Project was the inspiration for Matterhorn by Court Innovations. Prescott is a member of the working group for Access to Justice and Fairness for the National Task Force on Fines, Fees and Bail Practices, and has a number of ongoing research projects related to access to justice and improving the ability of the justice system to accurately assess litigants’ ability to pay. More on J.J. Prescott
Judge Alexis G. Krot
Judge Alexis Krot is the 31st District Court Judge. The 31st District Court is in Hamtramck, Michigan, a separate municipality within the borders of the City of Detroit. Prior to taking the bench, Judge Krot practiced business, criminal and family law in courts throughout Michigan, served as the assistant city attorney for the City of Hamtramck and as the magistrate at the 31st District Court. Judge Krot is involved in many community groups and events in Hamtramck and serves as the board secretary and a trustee for the Academy of the Sacred Heart.