Court Appearance Reminder System - Los Angeles Superior Court

Traffic icon Project Name: Court Appearance Reminder System (CARS)
Court: Los Angeles Superior Court 
   Documents: Presentation
    Program Details
   Links: Court Traffic Webpage

Overview/Program Description:

Using automated dialer phone technology, the Court Appearance Reminder System (CARS) was implemented to remind defendants of their scheduled traffic court dates. The goal of CARS is to reduce the number of defendants who fail to appear on their scheduled date. CARS not only reminds defendants of their scheduled court dates, but it also offers the convenient option of paying the citation in lieu of appearing in court.

Program Benefits/Savings:

CARS has resulted in:

  • An increase in the number of defendants appearing on their court dates, which results in a corresponding decrease in the time and cost involved in handling single cases repetitively.
  • Fewer delinquency notification mailings.
  • Decreases in the likelihood that continued holds will be issued on drivers’ licenses.
  • Reductions in initial failure-to-appear rates resulting in an annual cost savings of over $30,000 (this savings includes costs otherwise expended on repetitive efforts to process these cases).
  • Increase in revenue associated with fine payments as more defendants appear on their originally scheduled court dates (an approximate 13 percent increase in revenue was collected at the Metropolitan Courthouse following the implementation of CARS).
  • Support of procedural fairness. Because there is often a long delay between initial scheduling and actual court dates, many individuals forget their scheduled dates; since CARS was implemented, call activity reports reflect that traffic failure-to-appear rates have declined to as low as 25 percent.