MODEL COMPLIANCE PROGRAM Florida Clerks of Court Operations Corporation Russ Duncan Court Compliance Specialist firstname.lastname@example.org 512.663.5145
Principals of Understanding A fine is punishment and not a “BILL”. The payment is the defendant’s responsibility. It is expected that the defendant must sacrifice to pay. The defendant must give payment the highest priority. The defendant must expect consequences if payment is not made. The defendant needs to understand the consequences. The payment is a Court Order, a sentence which may not be convenient. A court is not where people prefer to spend money. But, most people come to court with money.
The Issue “Lack of compliance in paying court fines and fees denies a jurisdiction revenue and, more importantly, calls into question the authority and effectiveness of the court and the justice system.”
Collecting the Court Orders "The failure to enforce court orders imposing fines and fees undermines the judicial system not simply because of the ensuing loss of revenue-but also because it diminishes respect for the courts and their roles." California Chief Justice Ronald M. George
Compliance Performance Consistent with the basic premises of fine administration, individual offenders must be made to pay their fines in order for society to have achieved its policy goals of punishment and deterrence and for the courts to maintain their own credibility NCSC
Number One Reason for Non-Payment Negligent Confused Temporary financial difficulty Seasonal Unexpected disaster Deliberate
But is it just about “the” money? Abraham Lincoln said: "Law without enforcement is only good advice."
The Impact of Unpaid Fines Loss of Public Revenues Decrease In Services Increase In Taxes Weaker Government & Courts System “ a fine uncollected is a lesson in accountability untaught”. Chief Justice Frank X. Gordon of the Arizona Supreme Court:
GOVERNMENT USUALLY NO CONSIDERATION OF: RISKDEPRECIATION
General Attitudes About Court Compliance Court Philosophy “These people can’t pay and it’s not my job.” Community Perception “They don’t expect us to pay and nobody cares.” Government “We don’t have the time or money to invest.” “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” -James Baldwin
“Every Day a Debt Remains Uncollected the Likelihood It Will Remain Uncollected Increases.”
Collections Matrix Private Sector Focus $ Public Sector Focus
NAME _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Last (Appellido)First (Primer Nombre) Middle (Segundo Nombre) Nickname/Maiden Name Date of Birth ________________ Drivers Lic. or ID No. __________________________________ Social Security No. ___________________________________ (Fecha de Nacimiento) (Numero de Licencia O de ID) (No. De Seguro Social) Street Address _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Direccion Number/NameApt. / LotCityState Zip (Calle) (No. de Apartmento) (Ciudad) (Estado) (Codigo Postal) Mailing Address ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Direccion de envio P. O. Box or Street Apt.City State Zip (Calle) (No. de Apartmento) (Ciudad) (Estado) (Codigo Postal) Phone ____________________If no phone, number where you can be Reached and Whom________________________________________________________ (Telefono de su Casa) (Si ningun telefono, numero donde po dremos comunicarnos con usted y con quien hablar) Work Phone _____________________________Cell Phone or Pager #_____________________________________________________________________ (Telefono de Trabajo) (Numero Cellular) Employer:__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Empleo: Nombre DirecciónCiudadEstadoCódigo Postal Salary _____________________ Bi Weekly___ Monthly____ Sueldo LibrePor QuincenaMensua List of Names, Addresses & Phone Numbers of Two (2) Personal References NOT Related to You: (Lista de nombres, las direcciones, y numeros de telefono de los referencias personales que no sean familiars de usted): Name___________________________Street Address_____ Apt.______ City & State_________________________Zip_______ Phone_________ Years Known (Nombre) (Calle) (Ciudad, Estado) (Codigo postal) (telefono) Name___________________________Street Address______ Apt.______ City & State_________________________Zip_______ Phone_________ Years Known (Nombre) (Calle) (Ciudad, Estado) (Codigo postal) (telefono) Bank Account (Check all that apply) Checking______ Savings Other:________ Available Balance: $___________ (Cuenta Bancaria) (Cuenta corriente bancaria) (Ahorros) (Otro) (Saldo/Balance disponible) Do you have Credit or Credit Card(s) available? Yes (Si) NoCredit Limit(s) available to use $______________ (Tiene Ud credito tarjeta de credito (tarjetas) disponible? (Limite disponible para utilizar)
Court Payment Options Total owed $1.00 to $300.00 $150. every 30 days but must be paid in 90 days Total owed $301.00 to $600.00 $150. to $200. every 30 days but must be paid 180 days Total owed $601. to $1,200. $150. to $400. every 30 days
Court Payment Options 50% of the total amount due must be paid within 48 hours; 80% within 30 days; and 100% within 60 days
The 4 C’s of Enforcing COMPLIANCE 1. CONSISTENT procedures promptly applied in every case, which must include: 2.CONTACT with the defendant initiated immediately upon default, which must be followed by: 3.CONSEQUENCES for default. When put into timely practice, these 3 principles lead to a high level of…….
The 4 C’s of Enforcing Compliance 4.COMPLIANCE. Compliance is the goal of judgment enforcement, whether the judgment includes a money judgment, specific mandated acts or specific prohibited acts.
JUDGMENT ENFORCEMENT PROCEDURE The system uses consistent procedures applied in every appropriate case; The system uses timely, repeated contact. The system enforces consequences that are applied consistently and timely.
JUDGMENT ENFORCEMENT PROCEDURE Begins when the Judgment is filed with the court clerk or the Clerk receives the citation. The date triggers the enforcement procedures.
JUDGMENT ENFORCEMENT PROCEDURE On court date The defendant appears in person and enters a plea and pays all court cost, fines & fees and/or request a payment plan; The defendant fails to Pay. “If…then…“
DOES IT WORK? Defendants who fail to participate in a case generally respond to the notices Phone calls & Notices (Postcards) sent. These procedures generally result in a higher compliance rate
DOES IT WORK ? Word on the street Say what you going to do, do what you say. (your credibility is at stake)
COLLECTIONS PROCESSES The Collections Application The Collections Interview The Payment Plan Telephone Follow Up NEED PHONE NUMBERS! Effective Collections Notices Every one of these are IMPORTANT
Defaults (fails to make payment due) 1.Call the defendant Need Phone Numbers request Law Enforcement help by get at time of citation. 2. Send a delinquency notice. Yes Do both! Enforcing The Agreement
So Why the Telephone? Immediate impact and contact; Low cost and time conservative; Makes the defendant aware he/she has been personally located; Almost anyone can do it; and We all have access to a telephone, especially cell phones. If this is a staffing issue think IVR (Strategic voice messaging) system.
OFFICIAL NOTICE CLERK OF THE CIRCUIT COURT For Information, call NOTICE You have failed to make payment as agreed to resolve this offence filed in Court. You must contact this office within 10 days of the date of this notice to resolve this matter or show cause why the court should not proceed with appropriate actions against you. Your failing to respond with result in a WARRANT BEING ISSUED YOU YOUR ARREST. And suspension of drivers license
Delinquency Notice Identify (court, Etc.) Convey Official Authority Be Brief as Possible Designed to Motivate As Well As Inform (Suspension of drivers license & warrant) Tell When, & Where
Defaults - Enforcing Judgments If defendant fails to respond within a 5 working days period of phone call and notice: Send Pre Warrant Notice stating that a warrant will be issued in 5 days Suspend Drivers license Up to 40% could be added on if sent to collections vendor after 91 Days
Conclusion Remember that the critical aspects of enforcing a judgment are: t imely notice timely follow up Do what you said you'd do, and do it right away.
FACTORS THAT MAKE THIS SYSTEM EFFECTIVE Using this system a defendant failed to pay would: Receive a Phone call & a notice within 5 days of missing the first appearance (pre- warrant notice). Have their driver license suspended Receive a warrant notice no more than 5 working days after the pre-warrant notice.
FACTORS THAT MAKE THIS SYSTEM EFFECTIVE At every stage of the process the consequences of non-compliance are fully explained and, executed immediately upon non-compliance. At the conclusion of the process the defendant has been given every opportunity to comply.
THE RESULT Courts that have implemented this system have experienced an almost immediate effect upon their rate of compliance. When a court is really serious about enforcing its judgments, offenders tend to avoid situations that bring them back before that court. Whatever the motivation, judgment enforcement as described above works.
Benefits Enforces Compliance Increases Respect for Judicial System and your Court Increases Revenue Promotes Efficiency
Plan Tools Post CardsApplications Interviews Warning Calls Using IVR system Suspend Driver License & Collections Warrant Calls & Posts Cards