Meet Gina, the online assistant that is helping tens of thousands of people at the Los Angeles Superior Court handle their traffic citations online. When visiting the traffic section of the court's website, litigants can interact with Gina to pay a traffic ticket, register for traffic school, or schedule a court date. Gina is multilingual and can help court users in English, Armenian, Chinese, Korean, Spanish and Vietnamese.
The Superior Court of Los Angeles County handles approximately 1.2 million new traffic citations a year. Two years ago, as a result of a state budget crisis that led to courthouse closures and reduced staffing, people waited as long as 2.5 hours to see a clerk for their traffic matter. Then came Gina, part of a larger online effort by the LA Superior Court to enable court users to perform many critical traffic court transactions without ever setting foot in the courthouse. Gina alone has about 200,000 interactions a year, and combined with the overhaul of the court’s online traffic court program, typical wait times in LA's traffic courts have been dramatically cut down to 8-12 minutes.
Sherri Carter, Chief Executive Officer for the Los Angeles Superior Court, shared that SitePal, the program used to create Gina, costs $2,500 per year. The court spent approximately 240 programming hours to create Gina using the SitePal software. The court also paid an additional $40,000 in onetime costs that included translation services such as voice recording for Armenian and Vietnamese (languages not included in SitePal) and other services related to website enhancements.
Gina now helps 4,000 customers per week handle their traffic citations online, without the need to travel to the courthouse, wait in long lines, and take up clerk time. The Los Angeles Superior Court plans to expand her availability in other areas of law in the coming year. Gina has recently been named to the 2016 National Association for Court Management (NACM) Top 10 Court Technology Solutions list.
For more information on Gina and the LA Superior Court’s traffic online assistance, contact Snorri Ogata, Chief Information Officer, at SOgata@LAcourt.org.