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Courts text defendants about hearing dates

Kathryn Dolan with the state Supreme Court said missing your court date is not only expensive, and a waste of time, it also starts a downward spiral, leading to a warrant and jail.

Posted: Sep 5, 2018 5:13 PM
Updated: Sep 6, 2018 5:54 AM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT)- Every time we have a hair appointment, doctor appointment, or a bill is about to come out, many of us get a text message to remind us. Now in over 30 Indiana counties, you can get a text to remind you to go to court.

"It's very helpful and I'm glad they started doing that," said one Allen County woman affected by the court system.

The goal is to reduce the number of people who fail to appear.

"Anyone in the family. We get those alerts that we have court dates, reminders. It works great for us."

This is just one instance out of 135,000 texts sent since the program launched in Indiana in May.

Kathryn Dolan with the state Supreme Court said missing your court date is not only expensive, and a waste of time, it also starts a downward spiral, leading to a warrant and jail.

The texting program is also a way to modernize the court system. It launched in Allen County on August 13th, but hundreds of texts have already gone out locally.

Some residents believe defendants should be able to remember the court dates without reminders, but Dolan said the evidence shows reminders are effective and ensure fairness.

Some are already thinking of other ways to reduce the number of people who miss hearings.

"Maybe they can find something where it's transportational. Cause some people aren't able to get to the places on time," said an Allen County resident.

If you would like to sign up for the reminders, visit your local clerk's office or click here.

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