Accessing Courts Through Technology
There is an expectation, especially among younger generations, that courts should be accessible through technology. In a recent survey by the National Center for State Courts, more than a quarter of the respondents expressed a preference for online options to access court records, pay fines, or get answers from court staff.
Some Ohio courts are challenged to keep up with the evolving technology while holding down costs. For the first time, the Ohio Supreme Court is providing more than $2.5 million in technology funding to support local courts in removing barriers to efficient and effective administration of justice.
The funding through the Ohio Courts Technology Initiative will be used for 109 technology projects at courts in 61 counties across the state. Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor announced the grants in February, and all courts were notified by mid-June if their grant proposals were approved. When possible, the chief justice has personally delivered checks to court officials.
“Financial constraints at the local level can impede needed upgrades in technology. I’m pleased that the Supreme Court could assist in filling the funding gap,” Chief Justice O’Connor said.
Supreme Court Deputy Administrative Director Mindi Wells added, “The Ohio Courts Technology Initiative was designed to provide direct benefit to Ohio courts, specifically to support the delivery of technology services and the exchange of information by and between courts and justice system partners. With the budgetary resources available this fiscal year, it was a prime opportunity to launch the technology grant program.”
The grant awards range from a few hundred dollars to a few hundred-thousand dollars for projects such as website redesigns, security upgrades, and online case information access.
Read more about the projects in the CNO Review.