From online citation payments to virtual hearings, the digitization of court systems, workflows and records has transformed service delivery and access to judicial processes. In this article, we discuss the trends of government digital transformation that continue to drive court innovation in 2022.
- Remote proceedings have become the epitome of digital court transformation, but online court innovations also include new policies toward e-notarization and digital completion of legal documents.
- Increased adoption of online court payments has helped agencies streamline operations, accelerate service delivery and improve revenue collection.
- Governments can leverage court e-filings to expand access to judicial processes and enhance civic engagement.
- Fostering digital literacy and equality is critical to the success of your court software modernization strategy.
Online court hearings increase attendance
A report from the Pew Charitable Trusts highlights the growing adoption of digital court technologies. Texas, for example, had never had a civil proceeding via video before early 2020. From March 2020 to February 2021, however, it hosted 1.1 million civil and criminal hearing cases remotely. This data suggests the accelerated speed and scale in which courts adopted online hearings — changes that are revolutionizing the court system.
According to research by the National Center for State Courts and the Texas Office of Court Administration, attendance increases with remote hearings because participants can use court scheduling software to select more convenient times for the meetings and connect from anywhere.
The impact of digital equality on access to courts
Digital technologies play a critical role in breaking down barriers to accessing public services, making it easier for residents in remote communities to interact with their governments. According to a Deloitte report, enhancing citizen engagement and experience is a driver for 94% of governments in the maturing stages of their digital transformation journey.
But there are also unique challenges, such as the reliance on internet connectivity and the need for technology skills. In the U.S., more than 30 million people live in communities that lack broadband access to the internet, a reality that especially affects those in rural areas.
Virtual court hearings also raise questions about the impact on access to the justice system and the fairness of the proceedings. These concerns are a reminder of the importance of digital equality to an effective court modernization strategy.
Beyond virtual court hearings
Virtual traffic court, for example, can help your residents resolve outstanding tickets more quickly and efficiently. Court innovation, however, goes beyond remote hearings and online court fee payments.
Court software with e-filling capabilities and workflow automation enables a paperless process for ordering legal forms, such as adoption paperwork. And there’s a growing demand for this type of service. Per Pew research, since March 2020:
- Seven states allowed electronic notarization for the first time
- Ten states created new policies for e-filling of court documents
These findings help make a case for online court solutions that empower agencies to become more efficient, scalable and resilient.
Why you need a paperless court system
By deploying court case management software, court offices can minimize manual labor associated with walk-in visits and payment processing. In addition, dashboards providing access to payment information and case information look-up tools help facilitate reporting, saving your workforce’s time.
Citation payment services, for example, are in high demand. A report by Insurify, based on a database of more than 4.6 million car insurance applications, indicates that 9.18% of drivers have a speeding ticket on record in 2022. With an online court management system, your agency can increase customer compliance related to parking and traffic tickets, as well as other important government revenue sources.
The success story of Palm Beach County, a leader in court modernization
In Palm Beach County, online payment solutions powered by PayIt have helped the Clerk of the Circuit Court & Comptroller recover 37% of the revenue that it would have lost with the reduction of in-person operations during the pandemic.
As of July 2021, residents of the county paid more than $7.3M in court fees and traffic tickets through the PayItClerkPBC digital government solution. This solution enables Palm Beach County’s nearly 1.5 million residents to pay citations and fees, order legal forms and even buy marriage licenses.
Over the first half of 2021, the county also registered a 23% year-over-year increase in online revenue collected. This success story has been recognized by the National Association of Counties, which awarded PayItClerkPBC with a 2022 NACo Achievement Award.
A modern court management system improves service delivery
For your constituents, an all-in-one platform for traffic tickets and court fee collection offers the convenience of online payments. Many residents, especially single parents working hourly jobs, cannot afford to travel to government buildings for public services and payments. When residents can pay the clerk of court online, they save time — and so can a government’s workforce.
With PayIt’s government service platform, agencies can modernize their court case management system and simplify the citizen experience. Residents can use their phones, tablets or computers to order legal documents and make payments online. Here are some examples of transactions they can perform:
- Look up traffic tickets by case number or name
- Pay fines, citations and court fees
- Set up payment plans for traffic tickets
- Complete marriage forms and pay for marriage licenses
- Purchase legal forms for child support, divorces, adoptions, name changes and more
Another benefit of PayIt’s online court payment solution is that your constituents can use their GovWallet™ to save preferred payment methods and store the receipts of their transactions. They can also receive reminders when payments are due, helping to avoid late payment notices.
To learn more about PayIt’s court payment management system, explore our product brief.
Streamline online court payments with PayIt
PayIt is a complete digital government platform solution that can help you leverage court innovation to improve service delivery and revenue collection. According to Forrester’s Total Economic Impact (TEI) report, agencies deploying PayIt’s digital services and online payments can earn a 322% return on investment (ROI) from benefits such as increased employee productivity from payment processing and reconciliation.
In addition to online court payments, PayIt consolidates utility bills, property taxes, DMV services and more into one centralized solution that is entirely tailored to your workflows and business needs.
Need more help navigating the latest trends in court innovation and digital government transformation? Get in touch with us now.