About the Department
The Collections Office is responsible for collecting and distributing money that was court-ordered for costs, fines and restitution in all criminal cases. This office maintains the records after they are entered on the computer by the Prothonotary's Office (i.e. changing addresses, and adjustments in cost due to transfer to another state or county, or because the order was changed.) At the end of each month, we have to pay out any restitution, municipal fines or over payments that were collected during the month.
We are also in the process of updating the accounts of defendants. The computer program that we are currently using did not include any restitution, and only half of the supervision fees. We have to verify the names and amounts that each victim is due and enter it on the computer. If any supervision fees need to be added, we do it.
We monitor the accounts each month after the defendants make payment arrangements with us. If a defendant fails to make a payment for one or more consecutive months, we send them a reminder to make regular, monthly payments.
If a defendant fails to make a payment or payment arrangements with this office, we file a contempt petition with the Court. We have two days a month for our Court dates, one with Judge Smith and one with Judge Mott. At these hearings, we can have the defendant make the payment arrangements that they failed to do. Also, if a defendant fails to appear for his/her Court hearing, a bench warrant is issued for their arrest. When the defendant is arrested by the Sheriff's Dept. or comes to this office on their own, we go before the judge.
We notify the State Correctional Facilities to deduct money from any inmate who is lodged at their facility. The State of Pennsylvania enacted legislation, Act 84, which states that the State Correctional Facilities can deduct a percentage of money from each inmates account and forward it to our office for payment towards their fines and costs. We must research which defendants are presently housed at correctional facilities, which facility they are in and send a letter to the inmate notifying them that they owe money. After this is done, the correctional facility will monitor their account and send us money when it is available .