The bill requires the state court administrator to administer a court reminder program (program) to remind criminal defendants and juveniles who are alleged to have committed a delinquent act to appear at their scheduled hearings and provide them with reminders about unplanned court closures in district courts, county courts, and municipal courts that use the judicial department's case management system. The objective of the program is to significantly reduce the number of defendants who are committed to the custody of a county jail solely as a result of their failure to appear in court. The judicial department is required to include information about the program in its annual report to the general assembly.
A court that participates in the program, a summons issued in lieu of a warrant, and a person who serves a juvenile or juvenile's parent with a written promise to appear in court or a summons must notify criminal defendants and juveniles and the juveniles' parents of the opportunity to provide a mobile telephone number that will be used by the court solely to provide text message reminders for future court dates and unplanned court closures. A phone number collected for the express purpose of administering the program must be kept separate from other identifying information and must only be used to achieve the objectives of the program.
(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)