Issues with requestion supervision with a Judici e-plea

KB article ID:3300

Disclaimer: We are not attorneys and cannot give legal advice, but the following is our understanding of the issues discussed.

The AOIC asks for a copy of any form which a county uses to accept written guilty pleas without court appearance, in order try and keep the Clerk out of trouble on a few issues highlighted below:

1) How much can be charged for supervision at the court?

It depends on who accepts the plea. If the violator "appears" in front of the SA, the court has a lot of freedom to set the cost. But if violators are submitting written plea requests to the Clerk without a court appearance, the AOIC advises that paragraph (a) in SCR 529 limits what can be charged to the cost of the ticket (bail under SCR 526), an FTA fee (if any) and the cost of traffic school (if any).

2) How much can be charged for supervision online?

The AOIC requires that online pleas use the same costs as for any written plea submitted to the Clerk without a court appearance. So Judici can't even activate e-sup unless the county is following SCR 529 as per the previous section.

3) Who checks whether the violator was eligible?

Checking eligibility is no small matter. For example: it could be bad if a violator gets a supervision for which they weren't eligible (e.g. they had sup on a ticket less than 12 months prior) rather than an SOS-reportable conviction which would've cost them their license, and they harm someone in an accident while on that second supervision.

    • If your SA handles supervisions, eligibility is their problem.

    • If a college is administering Traffic School service, their contract typically makes them responsible for checking eligibility.

  • If the Clerk accepts written pleas and requests for supervision, the burden of checking supervision eligibility falls on them.

4) If the Clerk accept written pleas, the plea language better be right

The AO checks out plea language when they review the county's form, to make sure that the violator affirms certain eligibility requirements when requesting supervision. See a typical online supervision plea for an example. In the example in the previous section, where an ineligible person got supervision, it sure seems like whoever checked the violator's eligibility would be in a better position if the violator's plea required affirmation that they had no supervisions for tickets in the previous 12 months.

5) Could the Clerk accept the payment, then accept the plea later?

Some courts are actually getting online payments on these negotiated supervisions, then later receive a mailed-in plea. The AOIC says this is wrong, noting that payment cannot be accepted before a plea/judgement is entered. They worry what it would mean if the court took the payment, but the violator never sent in the plea.

    • If the mailed-in plea is just the blue copy of the ticket, that's even worse- the amounts are wrong, and the straight guilty plea language on the tickets [Cnv link, but link 404's,] doesn't contain any of the eligibility language which a violator is supposed to affirm when seeking supervision (see previous section).