State Courts System Goes Digital for Access to Justice
The judiciary underwent a digital transformation on an accelerated path, simplifying the experience, especially for those without attorneys.
A judicial system made up of a supreme court and court of appeals, district, juvenile, and justice courts as well as two administrative bodies: a judicial council and an administrative office of the court.
Like many judiciary systems before the 2020 pandemic, this state judiciary relied upon paper-based procedures for the initiation, processing, and resolution of court cases. For pro se filers and litigants especially, the system was complex and arduous. In-person paper document submissions and appearances before judges were required. The pandemic exacerbated the issue as it dramatically limited access to face-to-face resources and assistance.
Using a design-first approach with Swagger Codegen, Sirius, a CDW company, quickly bridged the gap between two existing applications. This allowed Sirius architects to re-engineer the client’s judiciary system by designing, building, and incorporating three new applications into existing applications, simplifying the process for pro se filers and litigants. This first phase of transformation allowed the client judiciary to pivot away from the requirements to submit paper documents and appear in person before judges to electronic filing (or e-filing) systems. Virtual hearing platforms as well as other tools came in later phases. Sirius also created an online dashboard to allow judicial assistants to review and file digital documents while reducing the steps and complexity of documentation processing.
- Within weeks, the client pivoted to a digitized ecosystem for all—but, most importantly, for the disadvantaged—pro se filers and litigants. The Sirius team created a system where forms and documents could be processed digitally.
- The solution provides a dashboard for digital reviews and filings of documents by judicial assistants, reducing the steps and complexity of processing documentation.
- The framework sets the stage for further improvements to the court experience for both employees and pro se filers and litigants. Later phases will expand the form types and methods for filing. All these changes will allow pro se individuals to initiate cases online.
How the Courts Quickly Transformed
To help the client judiciary respond to the hurdles for pro se filers and litigants at the onset of the 2020 pandemic, Sirius developers quickly digitized paper-based procedures for the initiation, processing, and resolution of court cases. Soon afterward came virtual hearing platforms and an online dashboard to allow judicial assistants to review and file digital documents while reducing the steps and complexity of documentation processing. Future phases will expand the allowable form types and methods of filing, and it will enhance the guided interview application to enrich the user’s experience.
Sirius used an agile method to build upon the judiciary’s existing applications that allow mediation of small claims cases, including the MyCase case management software and Online Dispute Resolution (ODR). Using the agile method, Sirius built what’s called a minimum viable product (MVP) on top of these applications, extending the functionality to assess plaintiffs and defendants by empowering them to file forms and documents for cases digitally—completely removing their need to enter a courthouse.
Sirius used a design-first approach with open-source generator Swagger Codegen to bridge the gap between two existing applications. This allowed the Sirius team to design, build and incorporate three new applications to interface with the existing apps and ultimately simplify the pro se experience.
• Adobe Acrobat Sign
• IBM WebSphere Application Server V9
• IBM Informix
• Jenkins CI-CD (continuous integration/continuous delivery) software
• Spring Boot
• Swagger Codegen (API)
• Swagger Codegen (open-source generator)
Sirius, a CDW company, is a national integrator of technology-based business solutions that span the data center and multiple lines of business. At Sirius, we combine strategic vision with the creativity of our FiveOut digital agency. Our experts have digital expertise in commerce, mobile, digital strategy, and design. Visit us online to learn more and contact Sirius today at 800-460-1237 to schedule a discussion of your needs. At Sirius, we help you manage your operations, optimize your IT, secure it all, and transform your businesses.