EAST MONTGOMERY COUNTY– Those who receive citations in Montgomery County’s Precinct 4 now have an easier way to pay their fines. Thanks to the newly implemented GHS collections system, citations can be paid online with a few clicks and a credit or debit card. The system accepts Visa, MasterCard, and Discover and is linked to Judge Metts’ webpage on the county site at www.mctx.org.
Judge Metts’ court is the first to go online with new collections system, but eventually, Precincts 1,2, and 5 will also have the payment system available. The four justice courts have been working toward having a fully integrated collections system since October 2012, when they put out a Request for Proposal to find a vendor to assist in collecting approximately $10 million in outstanding fines and fees.
Seven vendors responded, including GHS (Graves, Humphries, Stahl, LTD), the largest collection agency for justice courts in Texas. The four Justices of the Peace seeking a collections solution thoroughly researched the company, the process and input from current users.
They found the GHS collections system has a strong record of success and reliability. The company also has an unparalleled working knowledge of the JP system, being owned by NetData, a technology company with over 30 years’ experience serving justice courts in the state of Texas.
The system is not only user friendly, it updates itself as opposed to clerks continually preparing and sending information for a third party. The automatic updating feature benefits courts by removing some of the workload, thereby freeing up clerks to serve the public more effectively and efficiently. With Precinct 4 having the fourteenth largest caseload in the state, and being the county’s only justice court still performing its own collections, Judge Metts said the system would benefit his office tremendously.
“We have a busy office, and sometimes it seems as though everyone comes in at the same time to pay their fines,” Judge Metts said. “As fast and efficient as my clerks are, I’m sure it can still be frustrating for some people when they have to wait. Having the GHS system not only allows our clerks more time to assist the public, it will reduce the number of people who come in to pay, because they now have the option of paying online.”
Judge Metts said with so many people paying bills and conducting other transactions online, it only made sense to offer that option to people who received citations.
“Many people aren’t comfortable mailing a payment that could result in an arrest warrant if it doesn’t reach its destination, and it can be inconvenient to come in during office hours because of work, or because someone who lives outside the area received a citation driving through Precinct 4,” he said. “First and foremost, we must remember we are public servants and it’s our duty to act in the best interest of the people we serve. I feel very good about this collections system, because I know we’re doing just that.”
To pay a JP4 fine online, visit www.mctx.org, select Justice of the Peace Precinct 4 from the drop down menu, and then click “Pay Online JP4” on the left side of the page.