The Allegheny County Department of Court Records is reminding the public that it is offering a penalty-free period through Dec. 30, 2011 to encourage defendants to pay criminal fines, fees and restitutions that were referred to collection agencies prior to 2005 by the former Clerk of Courts.
To enable the penalty-free period, the Department of Court Records has recalled all Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas criminal cases from outside collection agencies. In the past, criminal cases with a balance owed were referred to outside companies if internal collection methods failed. Approximately 59,100 cases have been recalled that still have a balance due as of July 1, 2011.
By law, collection agencies may add up to a 25 percent commission on what they collect. This commission is in addition to the court-ordered fines, fees and restitutions. The Department of Court Records collects only the amount of court-ordered costs and does not add a commission.
A searchable list of all criminal cases recalled from collection agencies and eligible for the penalty-free period is available on the Department of Court Records Criminal Division website at www.alleghenycounty.us/crim.
At the conclusion of the penalty-free period, all recalled criminal cases on which a balance is still owed and for which no regular payments are being made will again be referred to outside collection agencies. In addition, all criminal cases prior to 2008 on which a balance is owed and for which no regular payments are being made will be referred to outside collection agencies.
Payment on any criminal case in the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas may be made using Visa, MasterCard or Discover credit/debit cards or by ATM cards through the Administrative Office of the Pennsylvania Courts’ ePay website at www.ujsportal.pacourts.us/epay.
Payments may also be made by mail or in person at the Allegheny County Department of Court Records Criminal Division, 114 Courthouse, 436 Grant Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15219. Office hours are Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Cash, money orders and cashier’s checks are accepted. No personal or business checks are accepted.
For questions, contact the Allegheny County Department of Court Records Criminal Division at 412-350-5045.