Category Archives: District of Columbia

District of Columbia

How Many Courts?

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Here at CourtReference, we’ve quite familiar with the court systems in every state. Unless you have business with courts in many different states, you may not be aware of how different court systems can be from state to state.

The basic structure is not so different; each state usually has a trial court in which the parties argue both the facts and the law in front of a judge or jury. The judge decides how to apply the law, and the judge or jury decides which facts are true and which are not – in other words, which party … 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

Going to Court by Mail

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Court systems continue to develop new ways of streamlining their procedures to reduce their expenses and backlog, and to improve customer service. Last year we noted the rise of telephonic court appearances for self-represented parties in some types of hearings. But “phoning it in” isn’t the only way to avoid a trip to the courthouse. In some areas, it is now possible to contest your traffic ticket by mail.

While telephone hearings are limited to routine motions that don’t require presentation of evidence or sworn testimony, traffic ticket mail contests are the real thing: the determination of guilt or innocence. … Read More

Online Tools Take Some Pain Out of Parking Tickets

Recently, I returned to my car after running an errand and discovered one of those dreaded parking ticket envelopes under my windshield wiper. Yes, the meter had expired, but when I opened the envelope, it was empty. Elation mixed with confusion – had I received a parking ticket or not? Was the empty envelope some sort of parking ticket “warning?” Unsure of whether and how to submit payment without a citation number, I forgot about the incident, and two weeks later a Second Notice of Parking Ticket came in the mail with a $25.00 late charge on top of the … Read More

What is E-Filing?

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If you are involved in a lawsuit, you (or your attorney) will likely need to file many documents with the court. This can include an initial summons and complaint as well as various motions and notices requesting actions from the court or opposing party. All these filed documents can add up to piles and piles of paper. Furthermore, whenever a paper is filed with a court, this requires the filer to go down to the courthouse in person to present the document to the clerk of court. Although this is a tradition that is mostly accepted as a part of … Read More