Making Technology Work During Tough Times

The Superior Court is continuing to focus on technological solutions to maintain critical services to the public during the ongoing budget crisis. Staffing levels are at a minimum so automation and streamlined processes are essential to being successful in managing day to day operations. The following enhancements already implemented or planned for the upcoming year will help the court make it through these tough times.

Jury Web Enhancements

Beginning July 1, 2011, in addition to being able to postpone their service online, jurors who believe they are not qualified or eligible to serve can use our new online utility to ask to be excused if their request is made at least five business days before their scheduled service date. When a juror submits an online request for an excuse timely, jury staff can review the request, make a decision, and send the appropriate postcard advising the juror of the court’s decision more quickly.

These streamlined procedures will save jurors the time of having to call the Court or travel to the court. Because this new technology will allow this alternative means of access, effective July 5, 2011, due to staffing shortages, jury staff will only be available to answer telephone calls between 8:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. daily, excluding weekends and holidays.

Interactive Voice Response System

An interactive voice response system is currently being installed and will provide a menu of choices for court customers to obtain pre-recorded information regarding the most commonly asked questions 24 hours a day without requiring clerk intervention. The automated menu will include a considerable amount of information for all case types that is currently provided by the clerks over the telephone as well as directions to our courthouses, parking information, and hours of operation for all court locations. In addition, information about the court’s website will be provided along with directions to access online resources such as forms, fact sheets, and paying your traffic ticket online.

Smart Pen Technology

Smart Pens will eliminate the need for carbon copy minute orders that are difficult to complete and labor-intensive for the courtroom clerks. The Smart Pen is an ergonomic digital pen that stores the data in the pen itself when the clerk is completing the minute order. The new minute orders are single sheets and easy to complete. When the pen is docked, the data is uploaded electronically into the system allowing for automated distribution of the minute order. This will be a great tool for our courtroom clerks and will help reduce repetitive strain injuries.

Website Translations

Together with other courts in the state, our court received approval for Administrative Office of the Courts funded translation of content on both the court’s main public website ( and its Virtual Self-Help Law Center website ( This funding was set aside a year ago to translate content on court websites.

On the court’s public website, the popular Court Tours will be translated into Spanish. These pages include court hours, contact and filing information for each court facility. Fifteen Fact Sheets about the court will also be translated, as well as dozens of informational and instructional sheets that help court users. On the Virtual Self-Help Law Center website, translation will focus on instructions for filling out some of the more common, but difficult Judicial Council forms.

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