With the upcoming presidential election, it is more important than ever to register to vote. Traditionally, registering to vote required a paper application, either mailed or delivered to the County Courthouse. However, a number of states are now offering online voter registration.
On September 19, 2012, the State of California launched a new online voter registration system. According to the September 20, 2012, article by Patrick McGreevy, Los Angeles Times, there are 6.5 million California residents that are eligible to vote but have not registered. The California Secretary of State, Debra Bowen hopes that the new system will ensure greater … Read More
We all know that you have to show up in court if you are a party to a case being tried – i.e, if you are the defendant in a criminal case, or the plaintiff or defendant in a civil lawsuit. But if you are just a witness, do you also have to show up in court?
The answer is yes, if the judge or one of the attorneys thinks your testimony is important. The court will issue a subpoena, which is a document commanding your appearance in court to testify as a witness. In some cases, the … Read More
In an effort to improve the business climate in the State of New Jersey, Governor Chris Christie has created a permanent Red Tape Review Commission. This bi-partisan group is charged with identifying and eliminating burdensome red tape and other obstacles to help promote job creation, economic growth and investment throughout New Jersey. At the same time, they are also to make sure that their efforts to simplify and modernize regulations do not jeopardize public health and safety.
As part of this initiative, the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs has recently adopted a rule which allows companies to apply for … Read More
All state court systems have procedures for handling wills and other estate matters, including estate administration, guardianships, conservatorships, and trusts. When someone dies with a will, the will must be proved to be valid, and the instructions in the will carried out. This process is called probate, so most courts that handle estate matters have come to be called “probate” courts.
Some court systems have separate probate courts; examples can be found in Connecticut, Georgia, and Texas. More often, a state’s main trial court will have a probate division; examples can be found in California Superior Court… Read More
As you know, real estate values have declined in recent years. Are you wondering about the value of the homes in your neighborhood? One way to check the value of your property or the property down the street is to review the “assessed value.” Although the assessed value of property is not the same as the appraised value or market value, it can be useful for comparison purposes.
All states have a system for establishing the value of land and buildings referred to as the “assessed value.” The “assessed value” is used for the purpose of calculating property taxes. Property … Read More
In the American legal system, “expungement” of criminal records generally refers to the process by which the subject of a previous arrest or conviction seeks to have their criminal record either sealed or destroyed, thereby making it generally unavailable for public perusal. An arrest or conviction on record can make it difficult to obtain housing, employment and eduction; expungement can therefore be invaluable to those wishing to turn their lives around after a criminal past.
Almost every state offers a chance for certain offenders to obtain an expungement. The criteria for obtaining an expungement vary by jurisdiction, but … Read More
Most citizens’ encounters with the legal system take place at the local level, often as a result of a traffic ticket. If you don’t live in the area and don’t know where to find the courthouse or court clerk’s office, how do you find it? What if the information was on that traffic ticket that you misplaced?
CourtReference can help. We provide contact information for all levels of trial courts, from the county’s highest trial court that hears capital murder and complex commercial cases to the village municipal court that hears speeding and town ordinance violations.
Some states include municipal … Read More
It’s getting easier to conduct court business online. Court systems haven’t been as quick to set up online transactions as, say, banks or booksellers. Yet it’s not new; see our 2009 blog posts What is E-Filing and Paying Court Fines Online. And it’s getting better.
Take electronic filing of court documents: More and more court systems are adding this capability. New Jersey even has mandatory electronic filing for some types of cases. But court-run electronic filing is not expanding fast enough to satisfy the demand from law firms looking efficiency. In response, a number of private companies now offer … Read More
CourtReference recently took a look at the way New Jersey municipalities are combining their courts to save money and increase efficiency. Other states are using this and other types of organizational change to improve their court systems. New York is taking a slightly different approach.
Within each of New York’s Judicial Districts, each county has its own uniform set of courts: Supreme, Family, Surrogate’s, and County. Major cities, and each of New York City’s five boroughs, also have a City Court. All of these courts are part of the New York State Unified Court System, supported by the Office of … Read More