Under existing law, the court reminder program (program) provides 2 text message reminders to criminal defendants and juveniles who have been alleged to have committed a delinquent act (collectively, "defendants") to appear at each of their scheduled court appearances. The defendants must enroll in the program and provide a telephone number specifically for the purposes of the program.
The bill requires every defendant to be automatically enrolled in the program and allows a defendant to opt out of the program. The bill clarifies that defendants alleged to have committed traffic offenses are enrolled in the program. The bill requires the program to use the best contact information available to the courts. The bill requires the program to provide at least 3 reminders, including one reminder the day before the court appearance, and, for court appearances that can be attended virtually, the final reminder must include a link to the virtual court appearance. The program must send reminders by text message, but may use another method if a defendant is unable to receive text messages.
The program is required to track the number of defendants that opt out of the program and to implement or recommend changes to improve participation. The judicial department is required to report information regarding reminders sent by methods other than text message.
Because defendants are automatically enrolled in the program, the bill repeals provisions related to notifying defendants of the opportunity to enroll in the program.
(Note: Italicized words indicate new material added to the original summary; dashes through words indicate deletions from the original summary.)
(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)