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
It might not still be where you last saw it, thanks to the growing trend for small municipalities to share or consolidate services, including court services. Agreements to share or consolidate courts are likely to become more common, because the driver for these agreements is money – specifically, the lack thereof in government budgets, and the need to cut expenses in order to maintain services. In the current economy, efficiency is beginning to trump tradition and “hometown” spirit.
New Jersey is currently experimenting with a variety of joint and shared municipal courts, and it’s an ideal incubator. Small in area … Read More
The 2009 annual Sunshine Week survey of government information available online is in and the results are interesting. Results were based on reviews of government web sites in every state to determine the availability of 20 different kinds of public records. The public record types researched include disciplinary actions against attorneys and doctors, inspection reports of bridges, schools, school buses, hospitals, nursing homes and child care centers, financial disclosure information including audits, project expenditures and campaign finance, as well as death certificates.
The survey found that death certificates were the least likely type of record to be found online and … 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
Although not found in all jurisdiction, Water Courts perform an interesting judicial service where present. These courts which exist in states including Montana and Colorado generally handle matters concerning water rights.
The set up of a Water Court will vary by jurisdiction. In Montana, there is only one Water Court which serves the entire state. However, within the one Water Court are four divisions. According to state law, these divisions are based the “natural divides between drainages and the borders of the state of Montana.” The four divisions are the Yellow Stone River Basin, the Lower Missouri River Basin, … Read More
The New Jersey Supreme Court is in the beginning stages of expanding public access to information in the state. In January 2006, the New Jersey Supreme Court Special Committee on Public Access began meeting to address the various issues surrounding public access to court records. The Committee addressed the need for expansion and improved ease of use for the public vs. the privacy issues that emerge when more information becomes public.
Associate Justice Barry T. Albin, who chaired the Committee explains:
The Committee Undertook this task with the understanding that the Judiciary serves the people and that court records, like … Read More