Staff at the Franklin County Municipal Court and City of Columbus (Ohio) share their experience with Matterhorn online dispute resolution for small claims.
Alex Sanchez, Manager – Franklin County Municipal Court
My name is Alex Sanchez. I’m the manager for the Franklin County Municipal Court’s Small Claims and Dispute Resolution Department in Columbus, Ohio. I’m also an attorney and a mediator for the court.
We started using Matterhorn in 2016,
Before the online dispute resolution platform, cases would take anywhere from a few months to possibly up to six months or a year.
Now with the online platform, parties can go online, talk immediately one-to-one, or maybe with the help of a mediator, and resolve their case within minutes or possibly even hours.
Veronica Cravener, Supervisor – Franklin County Municipal Court
In addition to folks potentially resolving their case online and not having to come down to court, it has actually functioned as another door to our department.
Brent Ralston, Assistant City Attorney – City of Columbus
Matterhorn streamlined our workflow because we were able to file more cases and we had fewer individuals that actually had to show up in court. That helps our office, and it helps the court system just run more efficiently.
The platform’s allowed us to focus our resources where we need them the most in our court. If parties can resolve disputes on their own, on their own terms, then that allows us to focus our resources on other cases or other matters to help better serve the public.
I spend the bulk of my time on the phone talking to members of the public about what our department does.
So, we’re small claims and dispute resolution. I’m talking to folks about small claims process, dispute resolution…you know, providing folks with information to help them try to decide what’s gonna be the best fit for them.
If they’re interacting with our department on Matterhorn, they can provide all their information. When I respond, I’m answering all their questions or providing information back.
I’ve noticed what it’s done is it’s reduced the amount of phone tag that I engage in.
Before we launched the platform, we had some concerns whether or not parties would be able to effectively use the platform in a way that worked for them.
We noticed that because it’s easily accessible via phone or online, parties had no problem using the platform.
If you could text message you can use the platform.
How folks are interacting in their everyday lives, so much more is happening online and I think this is one way to help meet those expectations.
The Matterhorn team’s been great to work with. They’re accessible by phone, email, anytime.
Anytime I have any questions they’re able to respond back and at least give me at least a deadline or some kind of timeline for when they’ll be able to have options ready for me.
Thank you to Alex, Veronica, Brent, and all of the staff at the Franklin County Municipal Court and the City of Columbus.