The last Clerk/MV update had a lot of changes to the Dog Module, which means we have received a lot of questions as well. The majority of the questions are relative to dog charges (e.g. what are dog charges and why are they showing up in the cart) and dog civil forfeiture letters (e.g. when do I assign the costs to the dogs).
Multiple Dog Charges
In update 2.6.9, we integrated new functionality to assist you in capturing all outstanding dog licensing fees for when a dog has not been licensed for multiple years. This means that if a dog has not been licensed for a previous year(s), the system will capture the amounts owed and add the charges to the dog owner. You can pay/forgive/view dog charges, fines and fees (e.g. menace, vicious, nuisance) for the owner by selecting Utilities|Charge Maintenance from the main menu. You can add charges to the dog owner by selecting Dog Charges under the Dog Fines and Fees section and creating the charge.
Why are there multiple dog license fees in the shopping cart ?
Once dog charges are added to the system, they are attached to an owner and will be added to that owner’s cart at fee settlement — regardless of whether a dog license was processed for that customer’s dog. For example, a dog owner who has failed to license the dog visits your office to renew a vehicle registration. Once you complete the vehicle renewal and advance to fee settlement, all outstanding dog charges are automatically added to the cart.
We added the functionality to populate the shopping cart with all outstanding charges for several reasons. The first reason was to make sure the customer pays all fines and fees that are owed your municipality. The customer should be responsible for paying the total of outstanding fees for all unlicensed years for the dog.
Another reason the charges are added to the cart was to save you time. In the past, if you wanted to capture all outstanding unlicensed fees, you would have to process a renewal for the oldest year (e.g. 2013) and then process the renewal for the current year (e.g. 2014). This could be a lengthy process if the owner had not licensed the dog for several years.
How do I get rid of the dog charges at fee settlement?
Again, outstanding Civil Dog Forfeitures (and any other charges for that owner) are automatically added to the cart when the owner comes to your office to process a transaction (motor vehicle, dog, boat or any clerk service).
To delete a single transaction associated with an outstanding charge at fee settlement, click on the red “X” next to the transaction you wish to delete. You will be prompted to make a choice to either remove the charge from the cart or remove the charge permanently. You can use the “Permanently Remove This Charge” option if the dog is deceased, or if you think the charges may be erroneous, or if you want to let the customer off the hook forever.
You can use the “Remove Charge from this Cart” option if you want to let the customer off the hook for today only, but you want these charges to pop into the cart next time they come into the office. Either of the options will remove that transaction from the current cart and reduce the amount owed.
Can I get rid of dog charges before processing a shopping cart for a customer?
In order to permanently delete a dog charge before processing a shopping cart for a customer, you would need to forgive the fee through Charge Maintenance (Utilities | Charge Maintenance). Search for the owner to display all charges for that owner. To forgive the charge, select the charge in the grid and select Forgive. Use this process only if you want to delete the charge permanently. If you only want to remove the charge from a specific cart so you can collect the fee at a later time, you should be removing the charge from this cart, as outlined above.
Assigning Dog Civil Forfeiture Fees
Previously, when producing dog civil forfeiture letters, you were unable to preview the letters without assigning the civil forfeiture fees. This caused some problems when you wanted to view and/or edit the letter but you were not ready to assign the civil forfeiture fees. In the last update, we added functionality to allow you to view the letters without having to assign the civil forfeiture fees.
I previewed the civil forfeiture letters, now how do I assign the fees?
The Dog Civil Forfeitures (Utilities|Dog Civil Forfeitures) menu selection displays a dialog box that provides customization and numbered tasks/steps to generate the letters and apply the fees.
When you select the third step (Print Forfeiture Letters & Assign Costs to Dogs) a dialog box prompts “Would you like to preview the forfeiture letters?” Selecting “Yes” presents the opportunity to make corrections to the letters (e.g. signature line, custom message). However, the fees will not be displayed on the letter, as you have not yet assigned them at this point.
Once you have previewed the letters and made any necessary corrections you must select the third step again and answer “No” when asked if you wish to preview the forfeiture letters. The resulting dialog box will ask if you are sure you want to proceed, noting that Civil Forfeiture fees will be assigned at this point. The Civil Forfeiture letters are generated with the appropriate fees and are now ready for you to print.