Online ticket review helps make courts more accessible, efficient

A pilot online program is making resolution of minor disputes and violations faster and easier for citizens, courts, and law enforcement. Online ticket review was launched this week in East Lansing’s 54B District Court and is already running in Pittsfield Township, City of Ypsilanti, City of Saline, Northfield Township, Highland Park, and Bay County. By following an easy online procedure, the public can resolve certain tickets, outstanding fines, and missed court dates without missing work.

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

“Technology is driving positive change throughout our court system,” said Michigan Supreme Court Justice Bridget McCormack. “Going to court is stressful enough, let alone having to miss work. 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.”

The 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; however, 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 7-9 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.