Court Payment Center Receives National Award
Friday, July 20, 2012
The Minnesota Judicial Branch Court Payment Center (CPC) received the 2012 Justice Achievement Award from the National Association for Court Management (NACM) at its annual conference on July 17 in Orlando, FL. NACM is the largest organization of court management professionals with members from the United States, Canada, Australia, and other countries.
The Award recognizes courts and related organizations for meritorious projects and exemplary accomplishments that enhance the administration of justice. Criteria for the award include that the nominated project identify a specific problem; demonstrate that the project was more efficient and/or more effective than alternatives; and have measurable outcomes of effectiveness through resource savings, meeting identified needs, or improving service delivery.
Creation of the Court Payment Center was part of the Judicial Branch’s effort to centralize and streamline the processing of the more than one million payable citations filed in Minnesota courts each year in district courts. The process utilizes fewer staff, allows for the payment of fines by credit card through the Judicial Branch Website or over the phone, automates the calculation and distribution of fees to the state and local government, and automates the referral of overdue fines to a collections agent. The first phase of the effort, the conversion of 85 counties to CPC processing, was complete in 2011. Planning is underway to convert the Second Judicial District (Ramsey County) and the Fourth Judicial District (Hennepin County) to the CPC in 2014.
“We are very pleased that NACM has recognized the Court Payment Center project as a national model of innovation and achievement,” said State Court Administrator Sue K. Dosal. “The Payment Center has been a transformational reengineering effort. We have already seen a reduction in processing costs and an increase in the collection of fine payments, money that is badly needed by the state and local governments.”
Before the creation of the CPC, clerks in local courthouses processed citations manually. Employees working from home offices now do most of the work in a highly automated system. Over $50 million was receipted in fiscal year 2011, including current and overdue debt. The amount of overdue debt collected in fiscal year 2011 was $4.8 million, compared to $.9 million collected in fiscal year 2010 and $1.1 million in fiscal year 2009. The CPC logged its one-millionth phone call on Nov. 22, 2011.
A user satisfaction survey offered to individuals calling the CPC in March 2012 indicated an 80 percent satisfaction rate when evaluating whether the information provided was clear and 70 percent of users indicated satisfaction with the automated voice response system. Ninety-seven percent of users indicated they were treated respectfully when they spoke with a CPC clerk.