Citizens can now easily request dismissal of certain traffic violations online with the launch of the new Electronic Compliance and Dismissal (ECAD) system. The application delivers a modern and user-friendly experience to quickly process traffic violations online without ever having to appear at the courthouse.
"Online dismissals and services are changing the way the public does business with our courts," said Judge Marion Warren, director of the N.C. Administrative Office of the Courts. "This modern court technology is more efficient and convenient to process a significant portion of traffic cases online and not have to stand in line at the courthouse."
Following Chief Justice Mark Martin's vision for eCourts and modernizing court technology systems statewide, ECAD was designed to reduce foot traffic in courthouses across the state while allowing the public a fast, convenient way to request dismissal for certain traffic violations online. The efficient, user-friendly system also benefits district attorneys and clerks by dramatically reducing the time needed to review and process dismissals of minor traffic cases.
"With the rollout of the Electronic Compliance and Dismissal system, members of the public have been able to avoid the inconvenience and time spent coming to the courthouse once they have come into compliance with the law," said Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman. "Not only does this streamline the process for them, but by reducing the number of cases on the docket in court, ECAD also gives our prosecutors and the court more time to focus on other matters. ECAD is a great public service."
A key benefit of ECAD is its direct link to the N.C. Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) database, which allows the system to electronically validate whether a defendant is compliant before allowing the request to be submitted. This means that no review of documents or DMV data is required on the part of the district attorney's office and a one-click approval will electronically dismiss / dispose the case with no data entry needed from the clerk's office. Whether a request is approved or denied, ECAD will notify the defendant by email if they need to appear in court on the assigned date.
Prior to ECAD, citizens had to appear in court and visit the courthouse to request dismissal. In 2015, over 220,000 cases with ECAD-eligible offenses were dismissed in North Carolina. This represents a significant portion of the traffic cases handled in our state and underscores the importance and convenience for the public. There is no cost associated with requesting dismissal of a case online through ECAD, and the system is available 24/7.
The system was funded by S.L. 2015-241 (HB 97) in September 2015 and work on the system began in October. ECAD was piloted beginning in May 2016, and is now available in all 100 counties statewide as of July. New language will be added to traffic citations statewide to inform the general public about ECAD and the courts' online services available at onlineservices.NCcourts.org.