The simple solution to support pro se litigants throughout the court process
The rising cost of legal representation is forcing an ever growing number of litigants to represent themselves in court – up to 40%* in some courts. That means pro se litigants must physically supply evidence to the court in a useable format, no easy undertaking for the ‘amateur’. But at a time when physical delivery is not available it becomes an impossible task.
The CaseLines Evidence Sharing Platform gives litigants the ability to easily provide court documents electronically both prior to and during a hearing. At a time of pandemic this is proving vital to ensure that hearings can progress efficiently.
Supporting efficiency for courts
As well as helping pro se litigants better engage in the judicial process the CaseLines Evidence Sharing Platform also relieves the pressure on over burdened courts, significantly reducing the administrative overhead when dealing with pro se litigants, resulting in substantial savings for the court.
Clerks no longer face the endless task of organising documentation for presentation. Judges can familiarise themselves with a case prior to the hearing, reducing the time a case needs to be heard.
The Platform even organises all documents into a standardised format; automatically paginates; adds bates stamping; and generates a hyperlinked index.
As a result courts spend less time coaching litigants. Clerks reduce admin time. And judges receive a structured, well-presented evidence bundle prior to the hearing.
Supporting simplicity for litigants
As Jamie Foote, product manager, explains: “Our range of easy-to-use tools makes the management of all types of documents (including multimedia) a simple Click or Drag-and-Drop process for even the least IT proficient people.”
Depending on how an individual court chooses to operate pro se litigants can engage with the court and a case file in one of three ways:
- As a fully registered user with complete case access
- As an invited user for a time limited period
- As a load-only user without log-in privileges
The Platform allows courts to invite a litigant to add documents at any time – even during the hearing itself. For example, a judge can issue a link via a text or email to enable a litigant to immediately photograph and upload a document to the case file. CaseLines’ advanced OCR reads any text making it immediately searchable, even in photographs.
Most crucially, for both courts and litigants, the CaseLines Evidence Sharing Platform allows hearings to run to schedule at a time of unprecedented pressure on the judicial system.
*Pro se litigants averaged 24% in civil courts, 16% in criminal courts and 40% in domestic relations courts for custody, visitation and support of minor children cases.
Source: National Center for State Courts (NCSC) for the four years up to 2018