If you're here, you’re likely working in a municipal courthouse that is already backed up and struggling to handle the amount of cases being received and demanding workload. As more and more manual tasks pile up in the courthouse offices, time is wasted while government efficiency and effectiveness plummet. Luckily, government management software is specifically designed to streamline government workflows and prevent time or money waste within the courthouse processes.
Your backlogged courthouses have likely already made some adjustments since the Covid-19 pandemic by making the switch to online operations. While the majority of government workers were hardly familiar with Zoom before the pandemic, virtual courts have now become the new normal.
Recent historic events like Covid-19 pointed out a clear need for innovation within the US court system. Fortunately, municipal court software has eased the burden for many local governments that formerly struggled with the adjustment. Even as everyone has virtually returned to everyday life, the continued benefits of virtual court hearings are clear.
But what is judicial software, and how can it improve workflows at your local courthouse? Read on for everything your judicial workers need to know.
What is Court Software?
Court software, also known as judicial software or court management software, is technology meant to automate tedious judicial tasks like case management, virtual appeals and transcripts, and court scheduling for in-person and virtual hearings.
By automating outdated, time-draining processes, your judicial workers can allocate their time savings elsewhere, and constituents have the ability to conveniently move through the judicial process at a much quicker rate.
What are the Benefits of Municipal Court Software?
Judicial software is a multifaceted system, designed to be intuitive and customizable based on your courthouse staff’s specific automation needs.
That being said, users of GovPilot’s users have regularly highlighted the difference GovPilot Court Management Software has made in their local governments; keep reading for details on the following benefits of court software:
1. Virtual Court Hearings
While we may have never pictured court hearings happening online through Zoom, there are a lot of obvious benefits to hosting court hearings remotely.
- Attendees don’t need to take time out of their busy days to drive to the court house.
- Government workers can work from a fully remote location; an enticing benefit when recruiting municipal workers.
- Scheduling can be automated to save administrative employees time.
While recent data shows that 1 in 3 judicial workers admitted to struggling with going virtual, municipal employees that switched to GovPilot made note of acclimating within just a single day! Learn more about the Benefits of Government Digital Transformation.
2. Automated Requests for Transcripts, Appeals, OPRA & FOIA Requests
It's a municipal government’s duty to have an ADA compliant website that’s intuitive for all community-members. That means simple online requests for important documents should be accessible for anyone involved with your municipal court system.
Court record request software can be implemented on your website with ease, meaning that applying for meaningful court documents like transcripts, appeals, OPRA, or FOIA requests can be requested from anywhere, anytime. The ability for constituents to access these transcripts, requests, and appeals online frees up time for court administrators to focus on more important, pressing tasks.
Check out more court management forms available for constituent use from GovPilot:
3. Virtual Scheduling of Court Appearances
Courthouses nationwide reported a slow-down in cases heard as a result of the pandemic back in 2021. Nowadays, natural disasters, community crisis, or any number of roadblocks may make virtual court hearings the more convenient option for scheduling court appearances.
Before automating court management processes with GovPilot, local governments often experienced a struggle to coordinate hearings and schedule them in a timely manner. Now, constituents can pick their own hearing time from your website to keep the judicial process moving and constituents informed, and less likely to miss their court dates.
Curious about How Local Government Scheduling Software Works? Here's what to look for.
4. Cloud-Based Data Storage
With municipal government management software, important legal documents will be automatically stored in the government cloud. That means your judicial workers will have immediate access to any relevant document they’ll need from anywhere, and constituents’ private data will be kept private, encrypted, and secure once submitted to your municipal government.
Don’t allow inexperienced employees to compromise your entire government network by responding to a phishing email, or accidentally leak private constituent data to online hackers. Prioritize implementing local government cybersecurity practices and protect your municipal government from ransomware attacks by backing up your valuable data in the government cloud and providing municipal workers with cybersecurity training.
You can learn more about the benefits of storing data in the cloud in our Should the Public Sector Use the Cloud or In-House Servers guide or in our article about Azure for Government.
5. Paperless Courthouses
With documentation in the cloud and document requests fully-online, your court system can make the switch to paperless workflows which will save time, increase the uptake of local government revenue through fees paid online, and will be a clear environmental win by eliminating paper.
Paperless workflows in courthouses improve government efficiency and timelines by allowing citizens and government employees alike to work with court management forms and applications from anywhere. Automated forms such as the Court Transcript Request and Court Report Form are able to be processed and filed much quicker with GovPilot’s court management software solutions.
Read on for more insight into How Online Government Fee Collection Works and the Best Credit Card Processing Partners for Local Governments.
6. Speed Up the Judicial Process
The right to a speedy trial in criminal cases holds meaning across the judicial system, and needs to be an ongoing priority of local governments. Constituents deserve their day in court as soon as possible meaning they shouldn't have to wait months on end to know the next step in the judicial process and how to proceed forward.
Enable constituents to plead not-guilty or guilty to minor offenses like traffic violations online and pay associated fines and fees directly through their mobile or desktop web browser with GovPilot’s government software.
With time-savings and online-scheduling, your municipal court will improve its reputation with community members. Learn more about how going digital improves constituent-municipality relations in our How to Build Trust in Your Local Government guide.
How Can Your Local Courthouse Go Digital?
A digital transformation is inevitable for municipalities in the United States, and now is the time to begin the transition in your municipality.
Here are some of the ways you can prepare to go digital:
Communicate with municipal workers
Many municipal workers are reluctant to change the way they've always worked. Give government employees a heads up that they can anticipate going digital in the immediate future; reassure them that onboarding government software will be simple and easy to adjust to.
Be sure to ask government workers which tasks they feel are the most time consuming for your municipal court so courthouse leadership can prioritize accordingly and address the biggest challenges first.
Leverage federal grants
Bills like the American Rescue Plan and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act are posed to distribute billions directly to municipal governments pockets. In addition to funds being spent on building resilient physical infrastructure, billions are also being granted towards better digital infrastructure to ensure equal opportunity online. Consider applying for grants for improved broadband internet, so that your courthouse can leverage high-speed internet for virtual court and digital applications.
To learn more about how recent federal legislation will impact your local government, read on in the American Rescue Plan: What It Means for Local Government and How the Infrastructure Bill Will Impact Your Municipality guides.
- Loop constituents into your plans
As you gear up to optimize your courthouse workflow, update your government website and social media accounts to let community-members know that they can schedule court sessions online and apply for transcripts via your website.
To learn more about improving your online presence, read on in the How Local Governments Should Leverage Social Media guide.
Find the Best Court Management Software for Your Locality
As the local governments continue to re-acclimate from the pandemic, and adjust to the ever growing digital world of technology, local courts will need to adopt a more digital format to keep up. As the country improves broadband internet connectivity nationwide, courthouses anywhere can prepare to benefit from moving to a more remote, web based operation. In fact, it will make the justice system more efficient and save your locality time and money immediately.
To learn more about how court software can benefit your municipality, book a free consultation.
Judicial Software FAQs
- What is Court Software?
Court software offers municipalities a platform for automating government tasks related to court case management, virtual proceedings, jury management, and court document requests.
The best court management software offers document management from online applications on government websites, leverages robotic process automation to save administrative workers time, and improves the reliability of the courtroom as a whole.
Learn more about the universal benefits of municipal software.
What is Court Scheduling Software?
Automating court scheduling allows constituents to pick court hearing times and dates online, and will automatically update the prosecutors, defendants, jury members, and relevant law enforcement via email.
Anyone with personal computers or a mobile device can now schedule their court case, waive a court appearance, or appeal a court decision remotely, saving time for administrative employees and public users.
What is Court Task Management?
Court staff have a lot on their plates at any given time; attending relevant court hearings, coordinating for court hearings to take place, and filing / distributing court data can leave clerks feeling spread thin. Improve the day to day operations with task management software that handles docketing and time management for your administrative clerks.
Does Court Software Store Legal Data?
Courthouses regularly receive data that is personal and needs to be stored securely. A case management system will automatically save documents like warrants, case information, case filings, and other related information and will keep them inaccessible to hackers with top-notch cybersecurity protocol in the government cloud. You can learn more about municipal cybersecurity here:
- Government Cybersecurity 101: How to Prevent Ransomware Attacks
- How to Train Government Workers on Cybersecurity
- Local Government Data Breach Examples & Lessons
- Forming a Modern Local Government IT Strategy
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