Warrant 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
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
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
- Mobile-friendly, on-demand 24/7 access
- Convenient for those who cannot take time off of work or travel to the courthouse