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First Judicial District Courts Offer Web/Phone Payment Option

Posted: Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Recipients of payable citations due to District Court in Dakota, Goodhue, Le Sueur, McLeod, Scott, and Sibley Counties can now pay their fines via an automated phone system or online using a credit card 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Carver County will implement these payment options in August 2010.

The service is only available for citations that do not require a court appearance.  Payments can be made by calling 651-281-3219 in the Twin Cities metropolitan area, or toll-free at 1-800-657-3611.  Payment can also be made through the Judicial Branch website www.mncourts.gov  A convenience fee will be charged for each payment made by phone or Web.  Payments may still be made in person at the courthouse or by mail.

The service is being rolled out statewide over a two year period as part of a Judicial Branch effort to reduce costs and improve service to the public. Under the project, the processing of about 1 million payable citations each year is being transitioned from local courthouses to a centralized Court Payment Center. The project also includes creation of a statewide call center to answer questions and direct callers to the appropriate location if a court appearance or other action is required.

When complete, the project will reduce manual data entry, freeing up court staff for other case processing duties. It will also include the electronic filing of citations by many law enforcement departments directly into the court computer system, automated distribution of fine revenue to local governments and the state treasury, and automated referral of overdue fines to the Judicial Branch's debt collection service.

"This is an example of the Judicial Branch taking advantage of technology to better utilize staff resources, establish a more efficient way for people to pay court fines and enhance collection of revenue for cities, counties and the state," said First District Chief Judge Edward Lynch.  "This initiative provides people with convenient payment options that can be used during non-business hours and it also greatly reduces the number of staff required to process these transactions.  This innovation combines efficiency and effectiveness that benefits the court, court customers and the public generally."

About the First Judicial District

The State of Minnesota's First Judicial District has 36 judges and more than 250 staff that handle nearly 200,000 cases annually in the counties of Carver, Dakota, Goodhue, Le Sueur, McLeod, Scott and Sibley.  Its mission is to provide justice through a system that assures equal access for the fair and timely resolution of cases and controversies.