COCS Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I was told I could do service instead of paying a fine. Why am I asked to pay to pay for community service when I get to Five County?

A: A fine and a fee are different animals.

A fine is what the court orders you to pay for a certain offense. A fee is what is charged to administratively process your paperwork once you complete your community service volunteer hours through Five County Community Action Court Ordered Community Service. We charge one dollar per hour up to fifty hours of service required.

Our mission is to help individuals by offering this program as a alternative to jail or much greater fines. If the fee cannot be paid when an individual signs up, program staff can work with individuals. For those with household incomes at or below 125% federal poverty, a waiver can be obtained, provided income verification is supplied.  For those who are not eligible for a waiver, they can pay the fee upon completion of hours or arrange a payment plan.

Q: Do I need to bring my court documents with me?

A: Yes, we do need your court case number so we can get you credit for the volunteer hours you serve.

The case number helps us to provide the court with your name as an identifier so please bring all your court information with you when you come in to sign up.

Q: Do I need to sign up in person at Five County Community Action?

A: No. There is now an online application form which can be completed. However, your sign-up will not be complete until you have an interview with a Community Action staff person either over the phone, via GoTo Meeting, or in person.

All non-electronic sign-ups, however, must be completed in person during walk-in hours.

Q: When I complete my hours, what do I need to do?

When you complete your volunteer hours as ordered by the court, you need to return the completed time sheet to our office.
We will give you a copy of this for your records and proof that you completed the hours. The “Time Sheet” cannot be altered or tampered with or you will not get credit for the hours worked.

Q: What if I want to do my hours somewhere off of the list?

A: You need to complete your volunteer hours at the approved agencies that Five County Community Action partners with.
We will provide a list of agencies that you can contact and make arrangements with to complete your court ordered obligation. We partner with more than twenty agencies and are always looking for more. So if you know of a non-profit or governmental agency that could use volunteers please let us know and we will contact them.

Please make sure arrangements with entities off the list are made in advance. Volunteer hours need to meet certain policies and credit may not be given after-the-fact.