Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Oregon iForms Project Simplifies Public Court Access

Earlier this year we found the following press release from the Oregon Judicial Branch on their OJD iForms project.  They wrote:


Filing or responding to small claims and an initial list of other cases in Oregon circuit courts will now be easier for the public. The Oregon Judicial Department has made interactive interview-based forms (iForms) available through its new online service, OJD iForms.

Filers using OJD iForms will answer questions contained in OJD Guide & File’s online interview process, which then generates court forms based on the filer’s answers. Once a form is completed, filers can (depending on the form) either eFile the form in courts that currently have eFiling, or print the form and file it themselves at any Oregon circuit court.

“We want to make access to the courts easier, particularly in the kinds of cases where people often are not represented by an attorney,” says Chief Justice Tom Balmer. “That’s why we’re introducing these
interview-based forms, to make it less complicated for people to protect their rights in court. Our next step will be expanding use of these forms into dissolution, child custody, and other family law cases.”

OJD’s user-friendly iForms provide self-represented filers with a simplified process that generates forms filled-in with the information required by the court in order to file or respond to small claims cases, file residential evictions, show that a judgment has been satisfied, or renew a current Family Abuse Prevention Act (FAPA) restraining order. Separate interview-based forms to obtain, modify, dismiss, or challenge a FAPA restraining order can also be accessed through OJD iForms.

The first group of iForms will be available on the OJD website starting Monday, September 21, 2015, and can be filed in all OJD circuit courts. There is no fee to use OJD iForms – filers will only be required to pay the normal circuit court filing fees when their forms are eFiled or submitted in person to the court.

The Oregon Judicial Department is introducing OJD iForms as part of its Oregon eCourt program.

More information is available at:

We followed up with Daniel Parr, Communication and Outreach Manager at the OJD this week and he gave us this update:

"Odyssey Guide and File is a relatively new product which provides a platform for the Oregon Judicial Department (OJD) to build interviews in-house without any programming knowledge. OJD then publishes these interviews for users. The interviews gather information from the user and populate answers into statewide forms. Throughout the interview process, users are provided with relevant help information for the questions they are being asked. This can include definitions of words, visuals, videos, and links to other websites. Once an interview is completed, the user has the option to print their form(s) or electronically file them seamlessly through OJD’s electronic filing system (available with most interviews).

This year our plan is to launch our major family law packets as interviews in the system. This includes the ability to file and respond to dissolution, separation, and forms for unmarried parents. All in all the interviews will take hundreds of pages of paper forms and instructions and condense them into user friendly interviews."

Congratulations to Oregon for their initiative to help their court users.

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