FAMILY COURT PROVIDES ACCESS
TO AUTOMATED ONLINE FILING
On June 8, 2009, the Family Court of the State of Delaware launched a new e-delivery service for both pro se litigants and attorneys.
In partnership with nCourt, an Atlanta based government services company, the court developed an automated and secure filing system which is funded by the users who pay a small convenience fee. The system prompts litigants to fill in information and answer a series of questions related to their filing, while at the same time providing them with instructions and information related to their filing and the law. At the conclusion of the questions, the system creates the forms that need to be filed for a particular type of pleading. Litigants then pay their court fees and a convenience fee online and are notified when the Family Court has accepted and processed their petition. The end result is a more accurate and legally correct pleading. The Family Court, which has a high percentage of individuals representing themselves, sees value in providing another tool to non-legally trained litigants. In addition to assisting litigants to properly complete and file pleadings, such a system also allows the public to file their petitions at their convenience.
Recognizing the large pro se population that Family Court serves, nCourt provides a toll free, customer service hotline for assistance in navigating the program. David Morris, CEO of nCourt, stated “We see ourselves as filling a need for both the court and those citizens who need to take advantage of the court’s services; our service team is always delighted to help citizens with the website and our technology staff works diligently to ensure a high quality, user-friendly experience.”
At the outset, the project is limited to the filing of a Petition for Custody in New Castle, Kent and Sussex Counties but will soon be expanded to cover divorce proceedings, Petitions of Support and many of the other related documents required in these proceedings. Access to the Delaware Family Court can be obtained by going to http://courts.delaware.gov/Family which provides a link to the filing landing page.
For further information, contact Jody.Huber@state.de.us