Washtenaw County Courts Expand Access to Justice in Partnership with Dawn Farm

Ann Arbor, Michigan – 08/27/2018

Until now, most individuals had to interact with courts in Washtenaw County, Michigan in-person in order to resolve legal issues and cases. 

This option still remains. However, people now have expanded access to find out the status of their case, resolve issues with their case, and remove outstanding warrants all from their personal computer, tablet, or mobile phone.

This online resolution system, Matterhorn by Court Innovations, is part of Washtenaw County’s commitment to engage the community. This cross-court program helps people access the court’s resources, from anywhere, on any device, at any time. Participating courts include Washtenaw County District Courts 14A, 14B, and the 22nd Circuit Court.

This cross-jurisdictional online platform is initially launching in partnership with Dawn Farm. Part of the community since 1973, Dawn Farm offers a continuum of services, compassion, and hope to assist individuals experiencing issues with addiction in Washtenaw County achieve long-term recovery.

The online case review service allows individuals seeking treatment through Dawn Farm programs and services to search for outstanding cases and start the process of addressing and resolving their legal issues during recovery. The goal of the Washtenaw County courts is to facilitate the efforts of individuals seeking to address their outstanding issues by removing barriers and fear and making them feel more comfortable.

The Courts’ Motivation: Access and Resolution

The Friend of the Court is “looking for some type of commitment to show the individual is willing to work with our office and we will be helpful in return so people are comfortable working with us.” Online case review is key to achieving these goals.

Barbara Kelly, Deputy Friend of the Court at the 22nd Circuit Court,

“Due to our partnership with Dawn Farm the 14-B District Court has expanded its commitment to online resolution. The Court sees this as part of its ongoing commitment to public service by making court more accessible for all members of our community, including those in recovery.”

Mark Nelson, Magistrate at District Court 14B in Ypsilanti

Removing Barriers for the Community

“Untangling legal issues is a huge barrier to recovery for people. It is wonderful that Washtenaw County courts have made this available.”

Jim Balmer, President of Dawn Farm.

Powered by Matterhorn

“The launch of online case review through the commitment of Washtenaw County courts and partnership with Dawn Farm allows individuals the opportunity to greatly improve their lives and to focus on their full recovery by removing barriers that previously could only be resolved in-person. We’re proud to power the tech behind this important initiative.

JJ Prescott, Professor at the University of Michigan Law School and Founder of Court Innovations,

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