Court Clerks, Court Administrators, and Jury Coordinators all know the importance of juror engagement. Satisfied jury members are vital to the functioning of society and to the efficient operation of the legal system. Additionally, engaged jurors are also more likely to express satisfaction with county and local government officials and rulings.
Unfortunately, one of the top reasons jury members express dissatisfaction with jury duty? Problems with their jury duty payment checks.
Late, inaccurate, or hard-to-cash paper checks all cause headaches for jurors and lead to more juror dissatisfaction, distraction, and resentment.
Juror payment headaches
For jurors, traditional payment in the form of paper checks, is rife with common issues that hold up payments and stoke dissatisfaction with the legal system.
To start, some jurors do not have bank accounts, which makes cashing a check at the end of their duty a time-consuming and irritating process.
Other jurors grumble in frustration when handed a paper check at the end of their service. After giving a day or week of their time to the court, the last thing a juror wants to do is devote even more time to cashing a check.
Then there are the common problems associated with all paper checks.
For court finance teams, the problems with paper checks and jury payments are all too familiar.
Some courts typically report receiving 40 or more phone calls a day from disgruntled jurors asking about late or inaccurate juror payment checks. In fact, one court in South Carolina fielded 500 phone call complaints in a day about late or missing juror checks!
The top five juror check complaints:
- “Where’s my money?” Thanks to overstretched court finance teams and a taxed postal system, late or returned jury payment checks are all too common.
- “I don’t have a bank account!” If a juror does not have a bank account, cashing the check is really difficult.And if they don’t have reliable transportation, it’s even more frustrating.
- “I don’t live there anymore!” Changes in address may mean a jury duty payment sits in the wrong mailbox.
- “I don’t have time to cash this check!” Jurors receive an average of $15 per day, plus mileage. Some may feel cashing a check isn’t worth the time, headache, or hassle.
- “I lost my check!” Paper jury duty checks are frequently lost or accidentally thrown away.
For court staff ready for a simple solution to the juror payment problem, CourtFunds is the answer.
Case study: Horry County, South Carolina eliminates paper checks to jurors
The court system of Horry County, South Carolina adopted the CourtFunds juror pay card system to great success.
“We implemented the jury pay card system in January of 2020, and we have had such a positive response from our jurors! To date, we have loaded almost 800 juror payments electronically saving our court time, money and resources that we have dedicated elsewhere,” explains Lara C. Robinson, Juror Coordinator of Horry County Government Clerk of Court
How did the adoption of CourtFunds improve court operations and increase juror satisfaction for Horry County?
CourtFunds provides three key benefits for juror satisfaction and engagement:
- Ease of use for court administrators and jurors
- Instant access to funds for jurors
- Multiple transfer options for jurors
Ease of use
To start, one of the biggest benefits CourtFunds offers jurors is ease of use. With CourtFunds, funds are available to jurors immediately after a trial ends.
“The jurors love the fact that they receive their card the first day of service and the funds are loaded Friday by 5:00 P.M. of the same week,” explained Robinson.
This immediate disbursement of funds not only makes jurors happier, but the pre-paid juror cards also help cut down on lost checks, eliminate piles of returned checks, and ensure jurors are paid promptly.
“You can choose when to load juror funds, we do it on Fridays,” Robinson said. “No more waiting on a check, which in our case, took up to two weeks, maybe more, depending on where the finance department was on their check runs.”
Additionally, it’s important to note that CourtFunds alerts jurors with a notification after they’ve been paid. This kind of instant, digital communication also helps to streamline the operations of the court and improve the juror experience.
Instant access to funds and multiple transfer options
CourtFunds cards also offer jurors two more key benefits: instant access to funds and a wide variety of transfer options.
Once activated, a juror can instantly begin using their card. Or, if jurors prefer another way to receive their money, CourtFunds offers cardholders a wide variety of transfer options.
- Use the pre-paid card as is (very convenient if the recipient doesn’t have a bank account)
- Transfer funds to their bank
- Transfer funds to a PayPal account
- Cash out the card at a bank
- Request a paper check
- Transfer to a merchant gift card
- Donate to the charity of their choice
In short? CourtFunds has helped Horry County, South Carolina accomplish its mission of increasing juror satisfaction and engagement, while greatly streamlining operations.
“What has made this so easy for us is Ben Martin and his staff. Ben always responds immediately to any and all questions, without fail. This has been a LIFESAVER for the process of getting our jurors paid and saving the taxpayers of Horry County money!” said Robinson.
Strengthen juror satisfaction in your court
CourtFunds is powered by Rapid Financial Solutions, which currently services over 1,000 county governments and municipalities. Set up a demo today to see how CourtFunds can help your state, county, or municipality improve juror satisfaction.