Last month we discussed judges (Justices of the Peace and Magistrates) who are not required to have law degrees, and whose courts have jurisdiction over areas larger than a city or town. Judges of city, town, village, and other municipal courts in many states are also not required to have law degrees or be practicing lawyers. These judges only have geographical jurisdiction over their own municipality, and in many states their subject-matter jurisdiction is limited to violations of the municipality’s ordinances.
We reviewed New York’s Town Courts and Village Courts in a 2010 post; with over 1200 such courts, … Read More
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
Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted has announced that all registered voters in Ohio will be receiving absentee ballot applications for the November 6th election in their mailboxes. “This mailing represents an unprecedented move toward uniformity, accessibility and fairness in Ohio’s elections process,” Secretary Husted said. “For the first time voters in all 88 counties will receive an application to vote by mail – turning their kitchen table into a voting booth.” More than 6 million absentee applications were sent out on August 31st. A second supplemental mailing will go out in early October to voters who registered or updated … Read More
Every court has specific rules that must be followed by all parties. Lawyers who regularly practice in a given court are very familiar with the rules of that court. They often know the rules so well that they don’t have to look them up. But you have to look them up. Even if you are representing yourself in court – known as appearing pro se (Latin for “for oneself”) – you will be expected to follow those rules. That means you’ll first have to find them. Fortunately, most court rules can be found online.
State court systems have statewide rules … Read More
Problem-Solving Courts – also known as Accountability Courts – are programs developed by many court systems to impose treatment plans and other forms of rehabilitation on some criminal offenders who would otherwise face jail time and the stigma of a criminal record. They reduce the judicial system caseload and the prison population while helping offenders with drug, mental health, and similar problems. We covered Mental Health Courts in April 2008, Drug Courts in October 2008, and Veterans Courts in January 2011.
Family Dependency Treatment Courts are another type of Accountability Court, and they’re different in that their treatment plans include … Read More
With the Trayvon Martin case, including the recent second degree murder charges against George Zimmerman making national news, violent crime is at the forefront of the nation’s consciousness. The Martin/Zimmerman case has raised questions about who the true victim really was. Although we may not know the answer to that question until the case has been resolved, unfortunately there are thousands of crimes committed every day, leaving victims to deal with the aftermath. Often there is so much focus on the perpetrators of crime that the victim gets somewhat left behind by court systems. However, more and more courts are … Read More
Are you facing a home mortgage foreclosure and wonder if there is help for you? Are you a tenant of a mortgage foreclosure and wonder if you have any rights? Or do you want to purchase a home that’s been foreclosed but don’t know where to look? These are all good questions that can be answered by accessing various state and governmental agency websites. There are many educational and helpful websites available if you know where to look. Below are a few agency links to get you started. Even if you live in another state, many of the links provide … Read More
State court systems are stepping in to help minimize the damage from the residential mortgage foreclosure crisis. Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Maine, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Ohio are among those that have implemented statewide foreclosure mediation programs. A number of other states are currently considering legislation to create foreclosure mediation programs, and many cities and courts have put in place local programs.
All 88 Ohio counties now use foreclosure mediation in handling foreclosure cases on their dockets. Through these programs, a neutral mediator works with homeowners and lenders to resolve the mortgage problem by mutual agreement. Such mediation can … Read More
Who could forget that deadly Minneapolis bridge collapse in 2007. It was a catastrophe that claimed 13 lives and terrified countless others. Yet, this was not the first bridge collapse in recent American history. There have been many other bridge collapses reported, some the result of crashes that created structural damage, yet other collapses, such as in Minneapolis, were the result of corrosion or structural deficiency. There have been many reports claiming that a major portion of America’s bridges are outdated, overburdened, and/or structurally deficient. The idea that our bridges could possibly be unsafe is definitely distressing, especially considering that … Read More
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