Washtenaw County Courts use ODR for DWLS Cases

Michigan 14A and 14B District Courts are improving access to justice for the public online. For drivers who have received a Driving While License Suspended (DWLS) citation, the courts provide an online way for individuals to identify the location of their suspension(s) and a guided path to resolve them. Once the suspension(s) are removed and the driver has their license back, they can resolve their DWLS citation.

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How It Works

Matterhorn has many features that ensure online dispute resolution will be easy to use for your staff and the public, including

For more technical information, also see information on:

Communication and Notifications

Easy Communication, Without the Pressure to Respond in Real-Time

Matterhorn offers a neutral place for parties and stakeholders to share information and communicate.

Matterhorn accommodates a number of roles and affords permissions to them accordingly. In a court setting, clerks, judges, magistrates, administrators, prosecutors, law enforcement officers, mediators and of course members of the public can all use the system and access only what's relevant and important for them. Data, information, and system actions are available to the right people and at the right time.

Parties can communicate when it is convenient for them on whatever device. Parties and staff then can respond to communications when it is convenient. This asynchronous communication fosters real communication over hostility and anxiety. With time to reflect, participants can respond thoughtfully. Matterhorn also allows parties to invite in a mediator if things get heated or assistance is required.

Typically, the parties are motivated to act in a civil, truthful manner within Matterhorn.

Matterhorn Notifications, Messaging, and Reminders

Matterhorn supports notifications and communications among parties through email, text, or both. The platform allows ongoing communication and automated notifications and reminders for hearings or payment due dates, case status changes, and so forth. You can send custom messages as well.

Matterhorn also emails staff and stakeholders about tasks in their workflow; those reminders can be turned off, set to only when there's a task to do, or a weekly or daily summary.

Easy for Court Staff

See the “Big Picture” in Dashboard Format and Reports

The Matterhorn administrative dashboard allows your leadership to review the status of cases and the volumes that your staff are reviewing. You can also build and export analytics.

Additional reports include

  • ODR site metrics such as the location of website users, their demographics, and which devices they use to access the system
  • Customer Satisfaction metrics. After each case on Matterhorn, public users receive a satisfaction survey and their responses are available in charts, graphs, and in text format.

Discretion and Automation

Simply put, Matterhorn doesn't make decisions for you or anyone on your team (such as judges or other knowledge workers). Matterhorn is a communications platform, and Matterhorn implements your eligibility rules, workflows, and decisions.

While some routine activities can be simplified or streamlined within Matterhorn, it does not replace any party and becomes a part of your process.

Easy for Court Users

Upload/Share Documents and Images

File upload capability is a simple configuration within any Matterhorn solution. Your staff can download files and store them in your document management system, or, with an interface, the files can be posted there automatically.

It can be easier for a defendant or litigant to prepare and to upload the documents needed over time rather than make sure they have them all organized and sharable at the hearing.

Mobile-Ready

Matterhorn is completely mobile-friendly because it's built with "responsive" design, meaning the interface adjusts itself to work well on any device. That's more important than ever and is a must for any public-facing web application. According to a recent research study, 198.5 million people in the U.S. own smartphones, which represents 79.1% of the U.S. population.

Multiple Languages

With a growing diverse and multilingual population, it is important for you to communicate with your constituents in the appropriate language. Matterhorn can be set to display in multiple languages (as chosen by the person viewing).

Usability

We pride ourselves in best-in-class in user experience. Members of your community need to easily figure out how to access information or take desired actions, and we make sure they can. We employ content and design experts and our software is extensively user tested on an ongoing basis. It works: product surveys with people who've recently used it show more than 90% agree it was easy to use. The interface is also tested and designed to be intuitive and simple: minimizing number clicks per activity, pre-populating fields with available data, and eliminating pages and pages of forms.

We have had thousands of people rate our software after use, and we consistently receive high marks for user friendliness. Over 85% of participants shared the software was easy to use. Matterhorn courts receive high marks for their responsiveness. About 85% of survey participants said they understood the status of their case throughout the process and they felt their case was resolved in a timely manner.

Strong Customer Support and Training

Attentive Customer Support

The Matterhorn Customer Success team is dedicated and available to you via phone and email. Matterhorn also has a support widget available on every screen/page. With a click, your team can submit a support ticket that will be routed to your Customer Success representative immediately.

Issues and problems from the public regarding the use of the software are rare, but we do support public users should they have questions about how to use the system. We direct the public to the court or agency when there are questions associated with their specific cases. For software issues, we log support tickets to ensure response and resolution is timely.

Most issues and questions can be resolved the same business day. After each customer support ticket is resolved, we collect customer satisfaction ratings via an email survey.

Training for Your Team

Training is simple and typically takes less than an hour for a full team. We are always available for support, but we also provide "train the trainer" coaching so one of your staffers can handle onboarding future system users.

Best Practice: Promote your Court’s ODR Program

If you build it, will they come? Sure, but if you promote your court’s ODR, they’ll come faster.

Your court worked with Matterhorn to launch your online dispute resolution (ODR) site because you sought to increase access to justice. In order for ODR to reduce wait times and hassle for your community and your staff, your ODR site needs to be found and used.

Promote Your Court’s ODR on Social Media

Community outreach is key to propel your court’s ODR efforts. The 30th District Court in Highland Park, Michigan, is an excellent example of strong community engagement.
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Invite a Citizen to your Matterhorn site via the “Create Request” tool

The most common way that citizens open up requests in Matterhorn is to search and submit a request on your court’s Matterhorn site.

A screenshot from Matterhorn

The Create Request tool in Matterhorn

Matterhorn offers a second method that may be quicker when you have a citizen on the phone. The court can pull up the case and invite the citizen to the site (via email/text). This tool can save court staff time explaining how to navigate and where to click.

To invite a citizen into Matterhorn, log in to Matterhorn and select the “Create Request” button under the Tools menu:

On the next screen, select the type of case (e.g. TRAFFIC, WARRANT, PARKING, etc.) and then fill in the citizen’s Driver’s License Number (DLN), Driver’s License State, and Date of Birth:

A screenshot from Matterhorn

Search for a case within Matterhorn by DLN, Driver’s License State, and Date of Birth

If the citizen has an open case in your court that meets your court’s eligibility requirements, Matterhorn will show you their case.

Click “Create Request” to continue the process:

A screenshot from Matterhorn

Matterhorn search results show any eligible cases

Next, you will see a form where you can then set the Due Date (to indicate how long the citizen will have to react to your invitation) and fill out the citizen’s email and/or phone number:

A screenshot from Matterhorn

Enter a new due date and the citizen’s contact information into Matterhorn

Once you hit “Submit”, the invitation will be sent out via email and/or text. Then, the citizen will receive an invitation containing a link back to the site where they can go in and complete the request:

A screenshot of the email the citizen receives. Courts can customize this language to fit their process and communication style.

Then, Matterhorn will email (shown) and text the citizen.

Please note that you will not see the case in your queue until after the citizen has completed the request.