Tweaks to use mail-in supervision content online

Plea/eligibility language issues
The AOIC requires that you provide a copy of your mail-in form with your e-guilty application.  This is because they want to make sure that the language you use online is the same as on your mail-in form.  But in the course of reviewing these forms, the AOIC won't even approve your application if they notice the following issues:
  1. The 12 month limitation- the AOIC says that per statute, as indicated in the Conference of Chief Circuit Judges' Traffic Safety Program Standards, you are ineligible if you got supervision "for an offense committed within the prior twelve (12) months."  So the 12 months is measure from the previous ticket date, not the previous plea date.  The AOIC goes into more detail on this in the second paragraph of #4 in the AOIC issues raised to Rock Valley College, which handles traffic school for Ogle County.
  2. Perjury- make sure that your plea language doesn't indicate that the violator might be subject to being charged with perjury.  The AOIC has made other courts remove this because they say it isn't enforceable.   See the #2 in the AOIC issues raised to Rock Valley College for more on this.
  3. No refunds- plea language should say that fees will not be refunded if they fail sup or are found ineligible.  For more, see #6 in the AOIC issues raised to Rock Valley College, as well as Jackson County's plea language.
  4. Only requesting supervision- most courts  use plea language which makes clear that the violator is only requesting supervision.  Presumably, this is because they may not actually get it if someone finds out later that they weren't eligible.  See Effingham plea language for an example.
  5. Reporting to the Secretary of State- most courts choose to have plea language making clear that violators who fail or are ineligible will be reported to the Secretary of State- see DeWitt's plea language, for example.  
  6. Require affirmation of eligibility- many courts  use plea language which has the user explicitly indicate that they are eligible for sup.  This is because neither the traffic school nor Judici have access to enough data to know for certain who is and isn't eligible.  See Jackson County plea language for an example.
  7. Out-of-county traffic schools- any reference to a traffic school other than the one in your county should note that any additional fees for such a school are the violator's responsibility.
  8. Plea language must be usable online- make sure that you don't include references to mail-in or payment process, since AOIC requires online pleas be the same as mail-in.
  9. All eligibility criteria should be in one place, so violators can't say they didn't know the criteria, and so that Judici can use exactly the same lingo.
  10. Supervision starts on PLEA date, not ticket date-  The AOIC explains this in the first paragraph of #4 in the AOIC issues raised to Rock Valley College,
Traffic school application issues
  1. Make sure the application instructions don't include any mail-in instructions, since those don’t apply to the online process. Some courts have chosen to do this by having their traffic school maintain a separate application for use online. 
  2. Traffic school application must be a PDF which can be filled out on the violator's computer using fillable form fields.  For an example, download the  Effingham application to your PC, then open it. This reduces the number of people who fail to register for traffic school, by letting them e-mail the app rather than having to mail it in. 
    1. This won't actually guarantee that they register, since there is no way to ensure that they actually do anything with the form they download.  
  3. Make sure your traffic school application tells them early on what to do with the completed form.  See Effingham's application for an example.  Most courts have the violator return the application to the court, not the traffic school.  This allows the court to confirm that payment was actually made and a plea is in their case management system.  Alternatively, the forms could go to the court could make it the traffic school's responsibility to use Judici or some other tool to confirm that the payment and plea happened, or somehow notify the court of every form they receive in the mail/e-mail.
    1. Provide a mailing address "for use if you prefer to fill the application in manually or your PDF reader has problems with the form".
    2. Provide an e-mail address. Don't bother making this a clickable ("mailto") link- those work fine if someone uses an e-mail program like Outlook, but most people use web-based e-mail at home.  Don't use a specific individual's e-mail address (e.g. janedoe@...)  as the place the form should be e-mailed.  There could be a problem if the individual ever leaves the Clerk's office.  It's best to use an e-mail address or e-mail alias such as "supervision@..." .
    3. Though the "Submit A Form" option in Adobe Acrobat would allow the data to be submitted online rather than by e-mail, do not use that option.  Some PDF readers don't support it, and those that do sometimes require correct configuration of other tools such as javascript.  Judici may someday have an online version of the traffic school application, but for now a fillable PDF is the next best thing.
  4. Remind violators that they also have to enter a plea to minimize that chance that they send in the traffic school app without actually entering a plea.  Effingham's application does this right off the bat. 
  5. Put either a date and/or revision number on all forms, so everyone can be sure that Judici is using the current form.
Comments