Collection Improvement Program

The Office of Court Administration's (OCA) Collection Improvement Program (CIP) uses a set of principles and processes designed to assist cities and counties with collecting court costs, fees, and fines assessed against persons convicted of (or placed on deferred adjudication or deferred disposition for) misdemeanor or felony charges when they are not prepared to pay all court costs, fees, and fines, at the time of assessment and when time to pay is requested.

Amended Rules Effective January 1, 2017

On August 19, 2016, the Texas Judicial Council approved amendments to the rules that govern the implementation and operation of programs operated by counties and municipalities to improve the collection of court costs, fees, and fines (Title 1, Chapter 175, Texas Administrative Code). The primary goal of the amendments is to provide procedures that will help defendants comply with court ordered costs, fines and fees without imposing undue hardship on defendants and their dependents.

The amended rules go into effect on January 1, 2017. Additional information and resources on the implementation of the rules are available on the CIP Rules page. For more information about these changes, contact your CIP Technical Support Regional Collections Specialist.

Technical Support

Article 103.0033, Code of Criminal Procedure requires counties with a population of 50,000 or more, and cities with a population of 100,000 or more, to implement a court collection improvement program based on OCA’s model.

CIP Technical Support staff is available, at no cost to the local jurisdiction, to assist with the design and implementation of a collection program and provide ongoing training and technical support.

Currently, OCA has assisted with the development and implementation of collection programs in 84 counties and 97 cities.  These include both mandatory collection programs (those required by statute to implement the Collection Improvement Program) and voluntary collection programs (those city and county courts not required by statute but wanting to improve their court collections by implementing the Collection Improvement Program). The estimated additional revenue generated by the mandatory Collection Improvement Programs is $494,591,672 and includes both state and local revenues. 

Audit

The CIP Audit Department performs audits of mandatory collections programs implemented by jurisdictions under the authority granted in the Code of Criminal Procedure (CCP), Title 2, Chapter 103, Article 103.0033. In addition, the CIP Audit Department performs projects to calculate the collection rate for a jurisdiction prior to, and again after, the implementation of a mandatory collection program to assist in measuring the effectiveness of the collection program over time. Finally, the CIP Audit Department is responsible for Data Integrity Audits and plans to pilot this audit type during the Fiscal Year 2015.