Officials say online program saves time, money

A pilot online program is making resolution of minor disputes and violations faster and easier for citizens, courts and law enforcement, according to Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert P. Young Jr.

Online ticket review was launched this week in East Lansing’s 54B District Court and is already running in the cities of Ypsilanti, Saline and Highland Park along with Pittsfield Township, Northfield Township and Bay County.

By following an online procedure, the public can resolve certain tickets, outstanding fines, and missed court dates without missing work, Young said.

“Online ticket review helps to make the justice system more accessible and convenient for the public,” Young said. “The system also saves time for judges, prosecutors and law enforcement, making our justice system more efficient.”

State Supreme Court Justice Bridget McCormack said technology “is driving positive change throughout our court system."

“Going to court is stressful enough, let alone having to miss work,” she said. “Online ticket review takes the stress out and helps to resolve the case more quickly and efficiently. That’s good news for both the public and the courts.”

Key benefits of online ticket review include:

• Convenient Access.
Citizens and court officers can access the program online, 24/7 via desktop and mobile devices.

• Increased Efficiency.
Court, police and citizen time is minimized, resulting in cost savings.

• Faster resolution.
Case turnaround times are substantially reduced, including acceptance of resolutions and completion of payments.

Participants are presented with a series of qualifying questions that determine whether they are eligible to resolve their violation online.
For traffic violations, a defendant submits his or her position, which is first reviewed by staff at the prosecutor’s office or police agency.

From there the judge determines next steps and the court notifies the defendant online.

In some cases, the program will allow people who have received minor traffic infractions to seek a reduced “no points” resolution to the charge.

Measurement and outcomes are just becoming available. according to court officials.

However, they said that data collected to date show that the program is achieving intended goals.

For example, depending on the court, cases are being processed, paid and closed on an average of seven to 10 days instead of months, only a few cases go on to be contested in court, and as many as 40 percent of users resolve their cases using a mobile device.