Central Minnesota Legal Services has now formally announced the completion of the Principles and Best Practices For Access-Friendly Court Electronic Filing. As the Press Release says:
Central Minnesota Legal Services (CMLS), Pro Bono Net and Legal Services Corporation (LSC) recently released Principles and Best Practices for Access-Friendly Court Electronic Filing (The Best Practices), a guide intended to ensure that electronic filing of court documents is deployed nationally in a way that removes barriers to access to justice.
The Best Practices was developed by Richard Zorza, an attorney and independent consultant who, for the past fifteen years, has worked on issues of access to justice. Funding from the Legal Services Corporation through a Technology Initiative Grant (TIG) enabled CMLS to develop a national model for access-friendly, e-filing solutions for self-represented litigants. In addition to the Best Practices the Minnesota Judicial Branch, Legal Services State Support, and Pro Bono Net, are partners in the project. . . .
Jim Sandman, President of the Legal Services Corporation, said, “The Best Practices is an important and very practical guide to improving access to justice, crafted by the nation’s leading expert on self-represented litigants. LSC will encourage broad distribution and widespread use of the guide’s recommendations.”
The Core Principles in the document are as follows:
Properly deployed, e- filing systems have the potential dramatically to improve access to justice.
Such systems should be deployed with a view to the minimization of barriers to access to the justice system, and to the maximization of all aspects of access to the system.
Access should be optimized for all, regardless of income, technological capacity, or linguistic or other personal capacity.
Optimization of such access will improve the overall functioning, efficiency, fairness and accuracy of the legal system.
Such optimization should be ongoing.
Each of the topic sections listed below includes discussion of the underlying issue, General Principles, Practices to Put the Principles Into Effect, Commentary, and Examples and Alternatives:
I. Core Principles
II. Electronic Identification and Verification During E-Filing
III. Supplemental Fee/Waiver for E-filing and Associated Services
IV. Fee Waiver Processing
V. Payment Process If Due
VI. Case Initiation and Service Of Process
VII. Ongoing Service and Communication
VIII. Comprehensibility and Usability
IX. Pleadings and Data: Approach, Quality and Assembly
X. Access to Internet and Support
XI. System Interoperability and Communication
XII. Opt-Out, Exemption and Discrete Task Representation Issues
XIII. Relationship to Public Access to the Electronic Court Record
XV. Management and Governance
XVII. Assessment of Accessibility
Meanwhile, can you please help us by evaluating the document. You might want to use this as a way to get it out to constituencies. We would like as many as possible to just review and fill in the super short survey.