Monday, January 14, 2019

This and That in Court Tech – January 2019

In this edition, we share information about a new court use of social media report, mobile video conferencing and identity verification, Connecticut Probate Court E-Filing, digital blockchain marriage certificates, an excellent self-help center website, and an upcoming conference.


COSCA/NACM Joint Technology Committee Releases Resource Bulletin on Social Media Marketing for Courts

The report abstract says:

“Social media is one of the most powerful and cost-effective, albeit underutilized, marketing tools for sharing the court’s message. Courts, however, have been slow to tap into the unique advantages of popular platforms. More and more Americans look to social media as their primary source of news, information, and entertainment, as well as social connection. Public discourse today happens on social media. Failing to include social media in the court’s communication strategy can only widen the gap between what the public expects and what the court delivers.”

This excellent report discusses how the courts can effectively use the various social media platforms as well as to develop a plan that addresses the risks and operational aspects.

You can access a PDF copy of the report here.

We Hear from the Android World About Mobile Video Communication

A reader, Abi Diana, Editor of the Joy of Android website writes in response to this CTB post (from 2014) that there are good Facetime personal video conferencing applications available on Android mobile platforms.  The very interesting article is available here.

The point of the original article is to be able to verify electronic communications.  Video conferencing is one way to do that as it can provide the same verification process that is used in notarization.  Ergo, a person appears before the notary and produces a form of government identification.  The person can send that ID ahead of time or display it during the video communication.  All of this can be recorded.

So, there we go.  Personal video conferencing to supplant the need to travel to see a notary (see: Wikipedia on eNotary).  What’s not to like?

Connecticut Probate Court Selects TurboCourt eFiling

Via press release:

January, 2019 – The Connecticut Probate Court Administration has completed a multi-vendor procurement that resulted in the selection of TurboCourt’s award-winning, next-generation statewide deployment of electronic filing for all Connecticut probate courts and filers.

Connecticut’s 54 Probate Courts process a wide range of case types including conservatorships, guardianships, estates and trusts, psychiatric commitments, and name changes. The TurboCourt Intelligent Filing and Online Dispute Resolution Platform will enable Connecticut Probate Courts to increase both access to court services for filers and case processing efficiency.

The full press release is available here.

Washoe County, Nevada Issues Digital Marriage Certificates using Block Chain

We learned via our colleague, Paul Embley and this Associated Press article posted on January 6, 2019 that “Some Nevada governments using blockchain for public records”. 

The Recorder’s Office web page for Digital Marriage Certificates is, in our opinion, excellent.  They explain that “We are now offering a service that allows certified copies of marriage certificates to be emailed and received within minutes, and it requires no special technology besides the ability to view a plain PDF. We have partnered with Titan Seal, a Northern Nevada blockchain startup, to bring their patent-pending technology to anyone who needs a certified copy of a marriage. During the pilot phase of this project we are offering digital certified copies of marriage certificates to customers who inquire about expedited shipping and are comfortable handling an electronic document.

The web page further explains that “Before we email your certificate, Titan Seal puts a secure, cryptographic hash of it on the Ethereum blockchain. The hash is a unique number that can only be generated from your certified copy of your marriage certificate, and the Ethereum blockchain is a financial ledger that is protected from modification by a worldwide network of powerful computers. Titan Seal combines these technologies by putting the hash of your marriage certificate into the "memo field" of a blockchain transaction. To prove that your marriage certificate is unmodified, and therefore still certified, the hash of it is generated and compared to the one on the blockchain.”

Congratulations to the Washoe County Recorder, Ms. Kalie Work, for taking this bold and groundbreaking step.

Clark County Nevada Civil Law Self-Help Center

Following the eCourts Conference last month, I had the opportunity of visiting the Civil Law Self-Help Center at the Clark County Regional Justice Center in downtown Las Vegas along with some international friends.  The office is conveniently located on the first floor of the courthouse near the entrance.  But the thing that was more impressive to me is their website.  It is one of the best I have seen. I recommend that you look for yourself at

Innovating Justice Forum

Last, I am pleased to share that I will be attending the Innovating Justice Forum in The Hague Netherlands on February 5-6.  It looks like once again it will be a terrific meeting with speakers and finalists from around the world.   I look forward to meeting any of our readers who wish to say hi to me.

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