Shared Collections - Shasta Superior Court

Court Ordered Debt icon Project Name: Shared Collections
Court: Shasta Superior Court
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Overview/Program Description:

In 1993, Shasta County implemented a Comprehensive Collection program with the overall responsibility delegated to Shasta County Superior Court. By creating an in-house Collections Division, the court was able to control and supervise collection of court-imposed fees, fines, forfeitures, penalties, and assessments. The collection officers, as court employees, are deputized as clerks and become a part of the courtroom team within the criminal court departments, meeting with defendants whose cases are just concluded before they leave the courtroom, so that the collection activity can be immediately initiated.

Due to the success of the initial program the court was approached by several other courts requesting Shasta provide a collection service for them, and so an intra-branch collection service was born. Shasta began in 2003 by providing intra-branch collections services to one court and now provides services to six superior courts: Colusa, Glenn, Lassen, Sierra, Tehama, and Yuba. In fiscal year 2012/2013 the program realized $9,784,464 in revenue.

Program Benefits/Savings:

Smaller counties that do not have the resources to put together their own comprehensive collection program have been able to benefit by participating in this program. Participating courts are very satisfied with the intra-branch collections services program and feel a court services program may be more effective than a private vendor for the collection of court ordered debt because they know court operations and business, share the same mission, and are motivated to enforce the rule of law.

While all collecting entities make phone calls and send out notices, there are significant differences in the approaches used by a private vendor, which tend to have a more aggressive approach and less flexibility to offer alternative payment options. The intra-branch service can accommodate daily, weekly, and/or monthly activity reports, other collections reporting, revenue distribution, and court-to-court interface capabilities between case management systems. Shasta has developed a program that allows for defendants who may have business in any of the other represented counties to have their delinquent fines addressed within the jurisdiction. In other words they can walk into any of the seven courts and pay their fines. Persons paying a fine in Shasta can also pay their obligations in any of the other six courts with one transaction, thereby simplifying matters for the public we serve.

Other Courts Using Similar Programs:

  • Colusa Superior Court
  • Glenn Superior Court
  • Lassen Superior Court
  • Sierra Superior Court
  • Tehama Superior Court
  • Yuba Superior Court