The collection effort of the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania was initiated after the FJD's assumption of the duties and functions of the previously independently elected Clerk of Quarter Sessions which was abolished by City Council in 2010. The Court established the Office of Court Compliance, funded by the City of Philadelphia, to lead the charge in the collection of outstanding court mandated fees, fines, court costs and restitution. The collection of this money benefits the City of Philadelphia, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and victims of crimes both directly, thought the collection of court ordered restitution, as well as indirectly through the collection of funds which are distributed to various governmental entities as provided by law. Upon assumption of the duties and functions of the Clerk of Quarter Sessions, the FJD has utilized the statewide Common Pleas Case Management System ("CPCMS") to inform defendants about their financial obligations, establish payment plans, record payments made, and to refer cases to private collection agencies upon default of payment plans and failure to attend payment plan conferences or otherwise respond to request for payment of their court ordered obligations.
The description below highlights the process followed by the First Judicial District.
Immediately after sentencing, FJD Compliance Officers meet with defendants to establish an appropriate payment plan for the payment of fees, fines, court costs and restitution consistent with the sentencing judge's order. Compliance Officers also hold conferences when defendants seek reduction of their monthly payment due to a change in financial circumstances, and conduct delinquency conferences when defendants fail to make their monthly installment payments. When appropriate, the monthly amount may be decreased if the defendant demonstrates (upon presenting the necessary information) reduced income or inability to pay the currently established installment amount.
Finally, the FJD refers cases to private collection agencies when defendants fail to pay their outstanding fees, fines, court costs and restitution, fail to appear for scheduled payment plan conferences, or fail to update their addresses with the court as required. Referral is always preceded by a notice requesting the defendant to contact the Office of Court Compliance to pay or make arrangements to pay their outstanding obligations. Upon referral to a collection agency, the collection defendant must pay a 25% collection fee, as allowed by law. Upon referral, the collection agency is responsible for collecting the outstanding fees, fines, costs and restitution and all payments must be made to the collection agency.
The goals of the FJD collection effort are to foster respect for court orders, to insure that those defendants who have the financial ability to pay court imposed financial obligations do so, and to provide a forum to enable those who are unable to pay to seek reduction of their monthly installment payment or deferral of their payment obligation.
The links below provide more detailed information and forms related to the FJD collection effort.
Payments can be made by mail or in person as follows:
First Judicial District of Pennsylvania, Office of Court Compliance, Room 370 City Hall, Philadelphia, Pa 19107
Checks and Money Orders, Payable to "First Judicial District of PA"). Do not mail cash
9:00 AM to 4:30 PM
The Juanita Kidd Stout Center for Criminal Justice, 1301 Filbert Street (Basement), Philadelphia, PA 19107; OR
Accounting Unit, 1401Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102.
Cash, Credit/Debit Card, Checks and Money Orders Payable to "First Judicial District of PA."