Plead and Pay Program rolls out in Missouri

Plead and Pay Program rolls out in Missouri
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Circuit courts throughout Missouri are adopting the Plead and Pay Program, an online system for processing Violations Bureau eligible fines.

No one likes getting a ticket, least of all Donna Ramsay, who, as a business woman, values her time and money.

“When you go to court and you’re appointments at 4 o’clock, you’re sitting there at 6:30 waiting for your turn and it’s like a waste of 2 hours time,” said Ramsay, who works at “My Sister & Me Antiques & Collectibles” in Neosho.

That’s all changing, though, thanks to the Plead and Pay Program, cutting time for taking care of tickets in half.

“It’s gonna make it easier for the public to have access to the courts. They’ll be able to pay certain traffic violations online, plead guilty online, as long as they pay the amount in full,” explained Newton County Circuit Clerk, Patty Kreuger.

Previously, traffic violations would be processed by the Fine Collection Center in Jefferson City, but since it closed in March, circuit courts throughout the state are taking on the FCC’s duties, with the aid of the new program.

“We’ll be overseeing the deposits, they’re gonna be electronically deposited because you’ve used a credit card, or a debit card, or an e-check to make the payment. So, we finalize the deposits people make in the middle of the night, or whenever they wanna pay it. It’ll be a little bit more of a workload for all of us, but because it is all electronic, it’ll be easier.”

The Plead and Pay Program allows you to take care of eligible tickets from virtually anywhere.

“You would go to Missouri Casenet. You can look up your case either by the number on the citation, or by your name. There’s gonna be a small icon on your case that says “Plead and Pay,” and when you click on that, you just walk through the step. It’s gonna make sure you are who you say you are and it’s gonna give you the total amount of your fine and costs.”

For Ramsay, Plead and Pay is a move in the right direction.

“It’d make life a lot easier, with less paperwork.”

Newton County is gearing up to launch the program on May 1, but several other courts throughout the state have already begun, including Jasper, Lawrence and Barry counties.

Violators who can’t pay their tickets in full will have to appear in court to set up a payment plan.