Video: Traffic and Parking Ticket ODR in District Court 54B

The team at the 54B District Court in East Lansing, Michigan describe their experience with Matterhorn online dispute resolution for online traffic ticket, civil infractions, and parking ticket resolution.

Chief Judge Andrea Andrews Larkin

We’re a college town court. Our population is actually dwarfed by the population of both undergraduate and graduate students.

People come to East Lansing who don’t live here for football games and cultural events, and it’s quite inconvenient for them to come to the court to contest a parking ticket or traffic ticket.

I think I received an email from somebody at University of Michigan about this program. When I read the email and the basic outline of the program, I thought this fits perfectly with the student technology-oriented population that we have.

Nicole Evans, Court Administrator

Our court is different today than it was prior to Matterhorn. Having a product that basically, out of the box, that we can use to roll out an online resolution platform that did not take up a lot of staff time has been…has immensely helped the way we serve the public.

The process is entirely online and it takes very little for our clerk staff to integrate with our case management system.

Robert Stump, Senior Clerk – Traffic Division

When people call, 90% of the time, they don’t want the points. So when we tell them that, hey that’s great.

So they go online, fill it out. They’re done. They’re done until they hear back from the court.

So they’re just waiting around. They get updates periodically from Matterhorn, or they can go in the system and see where their request is at this time. Is it with the officer, is it with the judge?

For the court, that leaves us a lot of other time where we can do other projects instead of doing the informal hearing: from one person to another, mailing, postage, creating files….

It’s great for both sides.

Nicole Evans, Court Administrator

What Matterhorn did was include processes that would be needed to make decisions on those online resolutions. So now, when a clerk is forwarding a file to the police department, which would be the next step in our online traffic program, that officer has access to the person’s driving record, and that’s not something that’s offered within our current case management system.

By having those additional processes already bundled up in the program, I think it makes the process just that much easier.

Chief Judge Andrea Andrews Larkin

It’s just so much easier for the officers, who don’t have to stop doing what they’re paid to do, which is to patrol and police and keep the community safe.

People in general are much more succinct on Matterhorn. I can read faster than I can listen.

Placing them under oath, having them come from the back of the courtroom to sit down…an informal hearing just, in general, takes up much more time.

And for people who don’t have to take time off work, don’t have to drive from Chicago or Detroit or whatever, for students who are in classes, it’s just easier for everybody concerned.

Nicole Evans, Court Administrator

Working with the Matterhorn team was, I want to say, one of the most positive experiences I’ve ever had with a vendor.

Chief Judge Andrea Andrews Larkin

I frequently have people say “thanks for letting me contest this online, this is really helpful.”

Learn More about Traffic and Parking Ticket ODR

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