Adams County defendants will soon receive text and email reminders to make monthly and overdue payments.
Adams County commissioners on Wednesday approved a proposal by the Association of County Commissioners of Pennsylvania (CCAP) to integrate financial channel messaging of court events into the Unified Case Management System, developed by CCAP.
Adams County Clerk Kelly Lawver said it would allow the clerk of the courts to send monthly, overdue payment notifications to defendants via text and email.
The $19,235 implementation fee will come from the Clerk of Courts Criminal Automation Funds, officials said.
If additional counties coordinate with CCSI to implement the program within one year of the county’s “go-live” date, the $13,125 cost of program development will be split between participating counties and the Adams County will be refunded any overpayment that was prepaid. , according to officials.
After implementation, there will be a $2,500 annual fee for support and maintenance, which will expire in early 2023. If four additional counties participate in the program, the annual county maintenance fee will be waived for the first year, officials said.
“I think your approach will lead by example,” Adams County Commissioner Marty Qually said. “I think you’ll get more counties on board.”
Commissioner’s Chair Randy Phiel said Lawver is a leader in “technology adoption” and is always looking for ways to make processes “faster.”
Defendants do not need to make those payments in person at the Adams County Courthouse in the borough of Gettysburg, Lawver said.
The Clerk of Courts accepts payment on allpaid.com with a debit/credit card or by calling 888-604-7888. Cash payments are also accepted at the kiosk located in the lobby of the Adams County Human Service Building, 525 Boyds School Road, Gettysburg, which offers free parking.
Lawver said she hopes the notification system will be implemented in September.
The notification system is expected to result in significant savings in terms of staff time, postage costs, preparing documents for contempt hearings and court time, Lawver said.
Some defendants have used the Notice of Contempt Hearing as a reminder to pay, Lawver said, noting that once they have paid, a court order must then be generated dismissing that motion and canceling the hearing.
When a defendant makes a payment, 50% goes toward restitution and the remaining 50% is split between the state, county and municipality, according to Lawver.
Lawver said she believes the notification system will help capture more monthly and overdue payments faster.
Those wishing to take advantage of text and email reminders are encouraged to provide a cell phone number or email address to the court clerk, Lawver said. Individuals can complete the registration form on the Adams County Clerk’s mobile app.
“It’s a good tool for defendants to remember they have a payment,” Lawver said.