In 2004, legislation was enacted requiring the Judicial Council to establish a court-county working group on collections and to adopt guidelines for a comprehensive program to collect fees, fines, forfeitures, penalties and assessments imposed by the courts. (California Penal Code section 1463.010)
In 2007, legislation was enacted requiring the Judicial Council to develop performance measures and benchmarks to review the effectiveness of the “cooperative superior court and county collection programs.” Each superior court and county collection program is required to jointly report to the Judicial Council regarding its performance and the extent to which it is following best practices (Penal Code section 1463.010).
In 2010, legislation was enacted to reprioritize the components of cost recovery for comprehensive collection programs, authorize courts to discharge uncollected debt from accountability, expand the State Controller’s Office unclaimed property program and authorize the enforcement of court-ordered debt beyond the 10-year period currently applicable only to civil judgments. These tools/mechanism will help courts and counties enhance their comprehensive collection programs and improve the collection of court-ordered debt.
In 2014, the unit expanded its duties, which now include providing revenue distribution support and training in conjunction with collections programs responsibilities, resulting in the unit serving as a central source of expertise on collections and revenue distribution to benefit trial courts and counties statewide.