Municipal Court preps for paperless tickets

KANSAS CITY, Missouri - The Kansas City Municipal Court is trying to bring itself up to date with modern technology.

It's making big changes that you'll notice when you get a traffic ticket and it may help clear out the legendary backlog.

It's always been a paper chase when going to municipal court.

Millions of court documents are filed in the office and staffers process tickets by hand.

Filed somewhere is the speeding ticket Anthony Dangerfield just paid.

He noticed the mounds of paperwork in court.

"They have to have your ticket, and then they have to go off all of that, and then they want to know all your information.. just from one ticket, so.. it kinda seems a little bit redundant," said Dangerfield

But the court is converting to a paperless system.

"We've been calling it paperless. It's really paper on demand," explained Alan Teeple, the project manager who is helping install the system.

It will cost more than three million dollars to covert the system.

The new system starts when police officers use a hand held device to "write" your traffic ticket.

The violation instantly enters the court's database, and you could pay it the next day instead of waiting for a court date.

"It's really more like a Victrola and we're moving to an iPod," is how John Franklin, the acting court administrator, describes the update.

It's a modernization sparked by years of complaints.

"This is transformative, in terms of the horror stories that you have of standing in lines and waiting for us to find and pull a record," said Franklin.

Municipal Court has been infamous for the huge backlog of cases.

The new system is supposed to be faster and more efficient, but what happens when the computers crash?

Teeple says the system will run with two wireless and internet providers.

"If one line goes down, the other one picks up the responsibility and the load," said Teeple.

The files of tickets will soon disappear, along with 19 staff positions that are no longer needed.

Workers will be transferred to other city jobs.

The court goes live with the new paperless system at the end of August.

A police spokesman says officers are excited about the system because it will make their paperwork easier and faster out in the field.

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