Ask NCSC!

1.  Experience with phone/text/email court date reminders

Posted 15 days ago
​North Carolina is exploring the possibility of developing a system for court date reminders by phone, text, and/or email (as determined by the person requesting notification).  It is anticipated that the system would send reminders on a set schedule as the court date approaches as well as send notifications if a scheduled court date and/or courtroom is changed.

This system might also be used to provide automated notification of court events for crime victims who elect to sign up for this service.

It would be helpful to hear from others who have either implemented such a system or made efforts to implement such a system, especially:
  • What challenges did you (or are you) facing to implement a notification system?
  • What were the main benefits for those who have implemented a notification system?
  • Were you able to measure a decline in failures to appear?
  • Were you able to measure call volume declines related to requests for court date information?

Any advice you could offer as we explore implementing such a system would be appreciated.

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Brad Fowler
Research, Policy, and Planning Officer
North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts
Raleigh NC
(919) 890-1223
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2.  RE: Experience with phone/text/email court date reminders

Posted 14 days ago
  |   view attached
The Fourth Judicial District of MN, serving Hennepin County (Minneapolis and the surrounding 46 suburbs) has developed an eReminder pilot with a private vendor. As the name reflects, this is an electronic reminder which pulls information from our court information system to issue the reminders.  No additional work is needed to send the reminder.

This reminder project send texts and emails to defendants who have opted-in to receive a notice of their hearing prior to the specific date.  Most of our courts are sending two reminders per hearing, one 3 days before and the second 1 day before the appearance date.  We have been fully functional with this product since summer and as of January 2018, we are sending nearly 20,000 reminders per month to litigants scheduled to appear in our courts.

In the Criminal and Traffic courts we have reduced the Bench Warrants for FTA by 24% between June 2017 and January 2018 (and we have had an increase in filings during that same time period).  When we are able to successfully remind defendants to come to their court appearance we have seen a 30.4% decrease in FTA.  Our success in reaching defendants is higher for texts than emails, but for both types of reminders, it is the absence of contact information that is the biggest reason for an unsuccessful reminder.  Getting our clerks to ask defendants at every appearance if they have any new contact information (cell phone number and email)  and getting that into our information system has been the biggest change and challenge for us.  We were, of course, used to asking about a defendant's address but now that we are in the electronic world, we need to ask for and capture different methods of contact!

I would be happy to discuss our project with you, if you wish.

Marcy R. Podkopacz, Ph.D.,

Director of Research and Business Practices Divisions

Fourth Judicial District of MN serving Hennepin County

300 South Sixth Street – Court Tower 12th floor, 0421

Minneapolis, MN 55487

Work Phone: 612-348-6812

Mobile: 612-978-0725

Email: marcy.podkopacz@courts.state.mn.us

Please visit our website: http://www.mncourts.gov/Find-Courts/Fourth-Judicial-District/Publications-and-Reports-Hennepin.aspx

Follow us on Twitter: @HennepinCourt



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Marcy Podkopacz
Director of Research and Business Practices Divisions
Fourth Judicial District Court of Minnesota
Minneapolis MN
(612) 348-6812
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Attachment(s)



3.  RE: Experience with phone/text/email court date reminders

Posted 14 days ago
The State of Missouri Office of State Court Administration has been able to use a paper clip and shoestring budget to create and be recognized as a leader in their informational/notifications programs for court personnel and public alike. I would encourage you to reach out to them as I believe you will find that their abilities coupled with the integrity proves to be an asset for the citizens of Missouri and those who may be users of the judicial system or one seeking justice from the Missouri Judiciary.  If you access the website, www.courts.mo.gov
you can contact the respective department and department head.

Regards

Christie Becker-Markovich, CCM

12th Judicial Circuit Court Administrator
Treatment Court Divisions
104 W. Main, Suite G
Warrenton, MO 63383

Comprised of Audrain, Montgomery & Warren Counties

(636)456-7136 ext 2 Office
(636)456-0605 Fax


Email: christie.becker-markovich@courts.mo.gov








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4.  RE: Experience with phone/text/email court date reminders

Posted 14 days ago
Be certain that your notification system sends updates from live data including cancellation or rescheduling. Litigants easily frustrated when incorrect information is forwarded.

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David Wasson
DCA , 1JD-PA (Ret.)
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