Fulton County is Georgia’s most populous county with over 1 million full-time inhabitants. The county stretches more than 70 miles in length and encompasses 15 municipalities. The most notable is the city of Atlanta. Due to the large population it supports, Fulton County Magistrate Court processes more Civil eFilings than any other court in the state of Georgia. The large volume requires a quick turnaround time, and Fulton needed an efficient software solution to automate and streamline the court’s filing processes.
Fulton County Magistrate Court processes 4,000 dispossessory case filings per month, leading to 48,000 filings annually. They had a very labor-intensive process for initiating cases. On average, it took 15 to 20 minutes to process one case, totaling which is roughly 1,167 hours on case filings every month. The process entailed the following:
- Log into the vendor system and print hundreds of pages of barcoded dispossessory affidavits.
- Manually file-stamp each affidavit.
- Manually scan each barcode on the printed affidavits to pre-fill information in the content management system, Odyssey.
- Manually scan the accompanying and stamped affidavit.
- Manually place each affidavit into a physical file.
To process the volume of dispossessory cases 12 clerks per day. Cases could only be paid for in person, by waiting in extremely long lobby lines, or through the previous vendor. Non-bulk filers had to wait weeks to initiate dispossessory cases and serve eviction notices. Fulton County Magistrate Court needed a way to streamline their dispossessory case filing process and reduce the amount of labor needed for these filings. Five Point Payments had a solution.
Five Point Payments created an online bulk eFiling solution for filers, which allows filers to submit and upload hundreds of filings in a single batch, Business rules were built into the system to ensure that all required fields and date are provided, which has led to less user error, less time spent manually checking filed documents, and less follow-up time spent with customers.
They could electronically upload and submit hundreds of filings in a single batch. Business rules were built into the system to ensure that all required fields and data were provided. This leads to less user error, less time spent manually checking the filed documents and less follow-up time spent with customers.
The system also ensures that all proper costs are paid to the court. The time spent on payment-related issues has decreased and the collections process has become more accurate and efficient. Dispossessory affidavits are now created electronically and automatically approved, which has decreased the number of rejections due to unapproved court documents being submitted.
This solution is free for the Court through a user-funded model and it offers a reduced price to customers from the previous vendor, integrates online payments, provides Vaulted cards for repeat customers and is PCI compliant. The Fulton County Magistrate Court has seen many positive changes after the implementation of Five Point Payments.
FivePoint Payments helped us automate several functions within our Magistrate Court that required our staff countless hours to manually perform. Their ability to identify and help alleviate inefficiencies through custom software saved our court time, effort and taxpayer dollars.
Fulton County Magistrate Court staff now spends significantly less time to initiate dispossessory cases, as the process is fully automated. Fulton County Magistrate Court was able to reduce the need for an equivalent of 10 full-time employees with a cost avoidance of $350,000 on salaries.
The average cost per filing decreased by $12, and the filer gained better visibility of their case status. This fully paperless solution has documents that are created, updated and delivered electronically. The average acceptance time for a dispossessory affidavit decreased to two minutes, allowing filers the ability to serve the dispossessory affidavits the same day. Ultimately, the Court’s staff and litigants enjoy a more efficient dispossessory case filing process.