December 6, 2018Policy Report

Case Study: Tulsa

Local/ Local Government Fellows/ 2018/

tulsa-cover-imageTulsa Sends Text Message Reminders to Reduce Court-Issued Warrants  

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In the City of Tulsa, Oklahoma the Municipal Court issues approximately 22,000 extensions to unpaid court fines – called Time Pay Orders – per year. The Time Pay Order system was originally designed to give residents an additional one- to six-month extension to submit their payments for court fees at the conclusion of a criminal case. Despite the extension, over 70% – or 16,000 – of the issued Time to Pay Orders result in a failure-to-pay warrant each year. Failure to pay often results in suspended driver’s licenses, accrual of additional fines, and further involvement in the criminal justice system. In addition, unpaid Time Pay Orders also result in more than $500,000 each year in unpaid fines.