Court-Connected ODR Featured in International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution

The International Journal of Online Dispute resolution recently published an article authored by Matterhorn CEO MJ Cartwright and Chief Product Officer Dunrie Greiling. The article highlights outcomes from select online dispute resolution (ODR) programmes for family, civil, and traffic cases.

The article is based on a panel discussion MJ Cartwright participated in, Innovation and Impact: Online Courts and the Changing Landscapes of Digital Justice, during the ODR Forum held in Aukland, New Zealand in November 2018.

Domestic Relations ODR in Ottawa, County Michigan

“In 2016, the team at the 20th Circuit Court in Ottawa County, Michigan, ran weekly show-cause hearings for parents who failed to make child support payments. Approximately 400 people per month would be called into court.

The goal of the ODR project was to increase child support compliance. Child support benefits custodial parents and children and may keep these families from needing public assistance. Improved compliance reduces the number of hearings and warrants issued. The team approached Matterhorn ODR and launched it in December 2016.

After ODR, key metrics improved: hearings decreased, cases resolved before the hearing increased, and warrants declined.”

International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution 2018 (5) 1-2, Court-Connected Online Dispute Resolution – Outcomes from Family, Civil, and Traffic Cases in the United States

Small Claims ODR in Franklin County, Ohio

“In 2016, the team at the Franklin County Municipal Court sought a way to improve outcomes and access on small claims and city tax cases.

The court launched the Matterhorn ODR platform for city tax cases and for small claims in 2016. Parties engage around the clock, with one-third of ODR interactions outside of traditional court service hours of 8AM-5PM Monday to Friday. ODR cases more often have positive dispositions (come to agreement or are dismissed) than similar cases handled offline. Cases handled offline are more often decided by a default judgement in favour of the plaintiff without the defendant’s participation.”

International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution 2018 (5) 1-2, Court-Connected Online Dispute Resolution – Outcomes from Family, Civil, and Traffic Cases in the United States

Traffic Ticket ODR in Michigan

“Courts in Michigan began to use Matterhorn ODR to let people contest and resolve traffic tickets online in 2014. These courts have found efficiencies in their own process, increased access to justice, improved metrics for collections, and high marks in customer service.

In terms of process efficiencies, Michigan District Court 14A found a time savings of 80 percent in handling time for these traffic cases online (27 minutes total) versus in person (157 minutes) across all court roles involved in these cases.

In terms of collections, a study of pre- and post-ODR outcomes for similar cases in 2016 shows fines getting paid faster for cases handled via ODR. Ninety-two percent of fines for cases handled via ODR were paid within 30 days, whereas 51 percent were for pre-ODR cases.”

International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution 2018 (5) 1-2, Court-Connected Online Dispute Resolution – Outcomes from Family, Civil, and Traffic Cases in the United States

Farmers Branch Municipal Court Uses ODR for Traffic Tickets  

“In early 2018, the Farmers Branch Municipal Court in Texas launched Matterhorn ODR to let people contest and resolve traffic tickets online.

The Texas results are very positive in terms of improved access: 52 percent of those surveyed said they would not otherwise have been able to appear. Of public users of the system, 72 percent used it on a mobile device.

Additionally, the court compared its count of failure to appear (FTA)/bail jumping and violate promise to appear (VPTA) violations January-July 2017 to those months in 2018. The court saw a 31 percent decrease in FTA and VPTA violations in 2018 after implementing the ODR system.”

International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution 2018 (5) 1-2, Court-Connected Online Dispute Resolution – Outcomes from Family, Civil, and Traffic Cases in the United States

Additional Outcomes Coming to a Court Near You

“As more courts offer ODR to their communities, we will see additional outcomes and gain perspective on what works and where improvements can be made. So far, courts have increased access, efficiencies, and public/customer satisfaction with ODR programs.”

International Journal of Online Dispute Resolution 2018 (5) 1-2, Court-Connected Online Dispute Resolution – Outcomes from Family, Civil, and Traffic Cases in the United States

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