Although these are very challenging times, the Court continues to look for ways we can streamline procedures or enhance our ability to process documents and payments for everyone’s benefit. Below are the top 10 ways the Court can/will save you time and/or money:
- The use of “Court Call” to make routine telephonic appearances: For many types of court appearances, parties are allowed to appear by telephone. In some departments, parties must make arrangements for a telephone appearance by contacting CourtCall® at 1-888-882-6878. Other departments maintain their own protocols for telephone appearances. Please check the court’s website for details at: www.cc-courts.org/phoneappearance.
- Expedited Jury Trials: The Expedited Jury Trials Act (Assembly Bill 2284 [Evans]; Stats 2010, ch. 674, effective January 1, 2011), establishes a new expedited jury trial process as an alternative, streamlined method for handling civil actions to promote the speedy and economic resolution of cases and to conserve judicial resources. An expedited jury trial is heard by a smaller panel of jurors, and the goal is to complete the trial in one day. The parties’ participation is voluntary. The decision of the jury is binding on the parties, and appeals and post-trial motions are strictly limited. A key feature of the expedited jury trial model is its flexibility, which allows the parties to enter into agreements governing the rules of procedure, including the manner and method of presenting evidence and high/low agreements on damages. The scheduling of expedited jury trials and the assignment of judicial officers are left to each superior court. (Visit the CCCBA’s Litigation Section web page to find out more about Expedited Jury trials).
- Online Court Forms & Forms Packets: The Court has posted all Court forms and forms packets online at no cost to attorneys and parties, which are otherwise available for a fee at the Clerk’s Office.
- Clerical Backlog Tactical Plan: The Court has initiated a comprehensive clerical overtime plan to address the mounting backlog of unprocessed court filings, using the Court’s one-time reserves.
- Attorney line: The Court expanded the use of “attorney only” lines to the Unlimited Civil windows in the Clerk’s office in Martinez Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
- Case File Tracking System: The Court is exploring the possible installation of a case file tracking system to more easily locate files using microchip GPS technology.
- Interactive Voice Response System: The Court will be replacing its current antiquated telephone system with an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) System with the ability to establish “Call Center” Services to better serve callers.
- Instant Check Payment Verification at Public Counters: The Court will be installing check cashing readers that will debt the checking account when the transaction is processed at the public counter, thus avoiding the subsequent rejection of court filings for non-sufficient funds. The Court recently installed credit card readers to allow credit card payments at all Clerk’s Office public counters, in addition to web-based credit card payments for traffic fines.
- High Volume Mail Processing System: The Court is exploring the possibility of installing a sophisticated mail processing system to more efficiently process high volume incoming mail, primarily for traffic and criminal fine payments.
- Electronic Filing System for General Civil: The Court is anticipating the implementation of electronic filing of general civil documents upon transition to the state’s California Case Management System (CCMS), currently scheduled for 2016.
Filed Under: Spotlight