A ceremony at Kansas City, Missouri Municipal Court today will mark a change-over to E-Ticketing and a 'paperless' ticketing system. The Kansas City Missouri Police Department had already begun the switch to E-Tickets earlier this year for tickets issued for traffic offenses like speeding, Driving While Suspended, and for DUI. Kansas City is the first major municipality in the country in which the City's criminal justice system is paperless from the time the officer gives you a ticket to the time the case reaches its final disposition in Court.
The Court has also eliminated the 'Add-on' window downstairs where defendants who missed their court dates could request that their tickets be pulled and sent to the corresponding courtroom. This process could take anywhere from half an hour to a few hours. Now the individual or attorney can go directly to the courtroom and talk to the Court about the ticket, since the ticket will be on the Court's computer system, and not in a file cabinet. This promises to save time for clients and attorneys seeking to resolve matters in Municipal Court.
These changes will mark a quantum leap from the technology previously used by the Court, which dated from the 1970's, to a system that looks promising. As a defense attorney practicing in Kansas City Municipal Court for eighteen years, I applaud the efforts of the Court in making these changes and the early indications are that this will be a good thing. However, as a defense attorney I also have concerns about how this will affect my clients as the transition is being made. With no actual 'ticket', (you receive an E-ticket, but the Court does not have a physical ticket), everything exists in the computer, including subpoenas, notes, all things that used to be attached to the actual ticket or file. Your criminal defense attorney has a right to access all of the Prosecutor's file regarding your case. If you have a DUI or criminal case pending in Kansas City Municipal Court
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