Clerk of Courts Stephen Lukach, whose office at the Schuylkill County Courthuouse is the collector of court costs in criminal cases, reported the state Supreme Court has offered a "e-Pay", a Web based application for state's criminal case management system that allows defendants to make court payments via the Internet with a credit or debit card.

Lukach reported, "The new feature allows the public to securely pay court financial obligations by way of the Internet, eliminating the need to visit the clerk of court's office at the courthouse in Pottsville or mail a check."

According to Lukach the state is offering the service to the county without costs. A transaction convenience fee of $2.75 will be charged to the user.

A person interested in making court payments online will navigate to the Unified Judicial Web Portal at http://ujsportal.pacourts.us/, select the e-Commerce/e-Pay link, then search for his or her cases payment plan. The payment amount will be entered along with the credit or debit card information. The Web application will send the user a payment confirmation generated by the e-Pay vendor and court officials will get a notification that a payment is pending.

Lukach reported a new system is to be implemented next year for the magisterial district justices in the county. It will not allow defendants to pay court financial obligations online, it will allow court staff access to statewide bail and warrant information features expected to save costs and further improve court collections. Schuylkill County Magisterial District Courts disbursed more than $3.8 milllion in 2009.