From October 2005 to October 2007, $7,851,000 in delinquent traffic accounts were manually referred to MSB. Of this amount, $777, 160 was collected as of October 2007. Many of the initial referrals involve repeat offenders and cases dating back several years.
Manual referral is a labor-intensive and painstaking process. "The Judiciary's computer system, JIMS, allows us to automatically and electronically send and receive delinquent account information daily through a secure interface, thereby reducing the amount of manual intervention required," said Thomas Keller, Administrative Director of the Courts. "We expect that the percentage of monies collected on delinquent accounts will significantly increase because once the collection agency receives this information, it will pursue persons who have chosen not to pay their fines. Justice is promoted when judgments are enforced."
Unpaid judgments of $500 or less are referred to the collection agency 90 days after the date the judgment was entered. Unpaid judgments greater than $500 are referred for collection 180 days after the date the judgment was entered.
Once a delinquent judgment is sent to MSB for collection, the responsible party must pay MSB directly. If payment is mailed to the court after the judgment is referred, the payment will be forwarded to the collection agency for further action. The responsible party, which may be an individual or an organization, will be required to pay the collection agency's fee of approximately 21 percent of the total amount owed to the State.
Judgments against persons under 18 years of age and restitution payments are not referred to the collection agency, but will continue to be collected by the court.
The Judiciary currently collects an average of $23 million dollars each year in statewide traffic-related fines and fees, a significant portion of which is remitted to the State of Hawai'i general fund. The number of accounts transmitted to MSB daily will drop significantly once the backlog of delinquent cases have all been referred.
Contact: Marsha Kitagawa, 539-4909