Category Archives: New Sites

Citation Information by Text Message

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Just a quick update on a new way courts are taking advantage of technology. One of the first and most widely used is online payment of traffic and parking tickets, which we covered here, here, and here. Next up were the ubiquitous red light camera tickets, which can also be paid online.

Since some people don’t want to pay their tickets without a fight, some courts allow tickets to be contested online without having to show up in court. We’ve even seen examples of courts allowing some hearings to be held by telephone or online instead … Read More

A New Specialty Court: Sex!

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Special court programs to deal with specific types of cases exist in every state. “Accountability Courts” or “Problem-Solving Courts” or “Therapeutic Courts” are special court programs that use treatment and social services in lieu of incarceration. We’ve covered specific types over the years: Drug Courts here and here, Mental Health Courts, Family Dependency Treatment Courts, and Veterans Courts.

These programs include intensive supervision by a team that includes the judge, and have proven to reduce recidivism and save their jurisdictions money, because treatment is less expensive than jail. Offenders with substance abuse and/or mental health problems … Read More

A New Type of Court Record

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CourtReference loves court records. Each of our state guides has links to many different kinds of court-related resources, but the most popular are the links to online court records. If your court doesn’t have records online – or if you need to see the original hardcopy – each CourtReference state guide provides contact information for every trial court in the state, so you can locate the court and arrange to see the records.

We like to talk about court records on this blog too; we’ve covered the things you need to know about court records here, the many new … Read More

Conciliation: A New Form of Dispute Resolution

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When people have a disagreement that can’t be resolved by simply discussing the problem, they may end up going to court for a resolution  – especially if the disagreement involves something as important as family issues or large sums of money. Going to court can be very expensive if you hire a lawyer, and it still costs some money (e.g., filing fees) if you don’t hire a lawyer. It’s very time consuming either way, especially if you don’t hire a lawyer.

And it’s not quick; courts are busy, many court systems are underfunded and overburdened, and it can be months … Read More

Gun Court

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Guns are in the news lately. The USA is a big country with a lot of guns, some of which are used to kill large numbers of people, generating news reports. Some are used in confrontations that become high-profile trials, generating more news reports.

From Newtown CT to Sanford FL, the headlines have driven debate about guns and gun violence. The debate in turn drives more headlines about guns – so guns are in the news. But in the USA, guns are always in the news. Although the Sandy Hook school shooting and the George Zimmerman trial make headlines, guns … Read More

Court Appearances by Television

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This blog has been following the expansion of the use of technology in the justice system. See our posts about electronic filing (2010), court appearances by telephone (2011), and fighting tickets online (2012).

Video technology is also being embraced by the courts. One well-established use of video is the recording of depositions. A deposition is the sworn oral testimony of a party or witness that takes place prior to trial. Depositions are a form of evidence, and they are normally taken in court reporters’ or lawyers’ offices. Video is simply used to record the testimony, and replaces … Read More

Fighting a Ticket Online

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Just two months ago, we noted a recent innovation in some courts: contesting traffic tickets by mail. This is another way courts make it easier for the public to do business. For hundreds of years, every interaction with the court system required the physical presence in the courtroom of all parties involved. In just the past few years we have noted the rise of electronic filing for attorneys and then for the rest of ustelephonic appearances; video depositions; online traffic, red light camera, and parking ticket payment; and other ways of interacting with the … Read More

There’s an App for That…

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Yes, it does seem like there’s an app for everything. What about court calendars and other case information? Although some courts don’t have that information online, many do – and a few are providing apps to make that same information available on mobile devices.

There are many apps available to track important cases, mostly U.S. Supreme Court cases. There are also many apps that provide access to state and federal laws and court rules. So far, these are commercial products available at the app store, but neither available from nor sanctioned by court systems.

Some appellate-level courts, such as the … Read More

More Court Records

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More and more court records are finding their way online, and many of them are free. We’ve talked about court records in general; see Court Records Basics, What to Know Before Searching Court Records Online,  About Criminal Records and Where to Find Them, Using Court Records for Background Investigations, and Small Claims Case Records.

We’ve talked about some of examples of the many different state court records searches; see Electronic Access to Florida Court Records,  Online Access to Virginia Court Cases, McHenry County Illinois Online Court Access, Online Access to Maryland Probate Read More

Mediation: an Alternative to Foreclosure

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Judicial foreclosure exists in nearly every state in the United States. Generally, a lender initiates a foreclosure action when the property owner/borrower has failed to make mortgage payments. In a judicial foreclosure, the lender must go through the court system, filing a complaint and serving the borrower. In most states, the court will then either find for the borrower or for the lender. If the court finds that the borrower has indeed defaulted on his or her loan a judgement will be entered for the lender. The lender can then hold a sheriff’s sale of the property in order to … Read More