Court watching, in which volunteers watch and report on public court proceedings, has a long history (e.g., NY since 1975). Most recently, Monday’s Washington Post had an article on Court Watch, a domestic violence protective order process court watching project in Montgomery County, Maryland.
Eugene Wolfe, the administrative judge for the county’s District Court judges, was positive and gracious
He said that he couldn’t comment on Court Watch’s findings until he read the report but that feedback could be helpful for judges. “I think you can learn things from that.”
So maybe courts should be recruiting volunteers to court watch accessibility for the self-represented generally. It is hard to think of anything that would be more useful or more helpful in improving the image of the courts, and since the watchers are volunteers, it has been a free way for courts to get feedback on how they can be more responsive.
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