Detroit Free Press – Traffic court goes digital: Start-up fosters settlements

Traffic court is going digital.

Ann Arbor-based start-up Court Innovations has developed a software solution that allows drivers to settle traffic violations by negotiating in a virtual environment instead of showing up to court to fight tickets.

The model, which can also extend to other minor civil infractions, is appealing to courts because it reduces workload and increases fine collection rates. And it’s appealing to offenders who don’t have time to show up in court or simply can’t afford to take off of work.

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Detroit News – Prescott: In Michigan, access to justice a click away

Implementing cutting-edge, Internet-based technologies in our courts has the potential to dramatically enhance access to justice for all citizens, especially those long left out in the cold.

Courts are taxpayer-funded institutions, dedicated to helping members of society resolve outstanding disputes in a fair and efficient manner. Many of the people who work in and with courts are public servants, devoted to improving people’s lives. Yet, as the daily news and common experience make plain, our courts remain difficult, expensive and time-consuming to use.

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The University of Michigan – Making the Justice System more Accessible

Every year, as many as 75 million Americans cited for minor charges such as unpaid traffic fines are issued warrants—and forced to have their day in court. Typically, the experience is frustrating, confusing, timeconsuming and expensive.

But that could soon change, thanks to an online mediation system developed by a U-M law professor and his former student. The idea for Court Innovations took shape in 2011 when Professor J. J. Prescott and third-year law student Ben Gubernick began discussing social issues stemming from inefficient access to the courts. As Gubernick explains, “Ninety-five percent of the cases making their way through the justice system involve minor criminal offenses that allow judges and prosecutors to exercise their discretion.

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Detroit Free Press – How Michigan’s justice system is saving tax dollars

The nonpartisan branch of government is getting its job done, by implementing commonsense reforms and measuring performance, by implementing new technology and working smarter, and by re-engineering courts and increasing efficiency — all to serve the public better and at less cost.

Measuring and reporting on performance is something businesses have been doing for years, but this approach to improving services is a new thought in government. Michigan’s judiciary is leading the way: We have established performance standards for every court and measuring and reporting on that performance on the state Supreme Court’s website.

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U-M Law Quadrangle Magazine – Transforming What it Means to “Go to Court”

What if your day in court didn’t have to be in court?

That’s the idea that led Michigan Law Professor J.J. Prescott and Ben Gubernick, ’11, his former student, to invent a first-of-its-kind technology that helps people who have been charged with minor offenses interact with courts online, at any time of day, without needing to hire an attorney.

The software provides a way for litigants with issues ranging from unpaid fines to minor criminal or civil infractions, including traffic tickets, to communicate directly with judges and prosecutors to find mutually agreeable ways to resolve their cases.

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Detroit Free Press – University of Michigan sees record number of inventions

From sports equipment to predicting ice formations, University of Michigan researchers had a record year coming up with inventions and ways to commercialize them.

Michigan researchers will announce Monday the highest number of new inventions and signed agreements to commercialize technologies within the Office of Technology Transfer during the 2014 fiscal year. Researchers reported 439 new inventions, an increase from 421 last year. The U-M Tech Transfer office also recorded 148 option and license agreements compared with 108 agreements last year.

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Xconomy – Resolve Minor Civil Infractions Online with Court Innovations

Imagine: You’re late for work and going 10 miles-per-hour over the speed limit to try to shave a few minutes off your commute, when you’re pulled over. The police officer gives you a ticket, but it’s more expensive than you anticipated. You want to take care of the matter quickly, though, before the late fees start piling up, so you e-mail the judge listed on the back of the ticket and set up a payment plan.

And just like that, the matter is taken care of—without the need to appear in court or spend 20 minutes on hold trying to get through to a clerk. This is the future as imagined by Court Innovations, a startup spun out of the University of Michigan’s law school.

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MLive – Court piloting innovative program to resolve minor offenses online

BAY CITY, MI — Cutting edge technology has hit Bay County District Court, designed to give those citizens with minor offenses a streamlined way to resolve their cases without having to appear in court in the flesh.

The new Online Case Review System was developed by University of Michigan Law School professor J.J. Prescott and a former student of his, Ben Gubernick. It started in the 14A District Court in Washtenaw County and was put to use in Bay County on Aug. 25.

“There are three components to it,” said District Judge Dawn A. Klida, who is running the pilot program. “One is the traffic (violation) resolution. The second part is failure to appear. The third component is failure to pay fines and costs.”

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Michigan Radio – Go to court in your pajamas with this new technology

How can you resolve a minor civil infraction or a traffic ticket without stepping foot in a courtroom? Use the Online Court Project.The first-of-its-kind technology was designed by J.J. Prescott and his team to help people who have been charged with minor offenses interact with courts online, without needing to hire an attorney.

J. J. Prescott is a law professor at the University of Michigan and co-director of the Empirical Legal Studies Center.

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