Yolo Superior Court announces online dispute resolution for small claims cases

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Superior Court announced the launch of a new online dispute resolution platform that empowers citizens to participate in the judicial system online from anywhere, at any time.  “Online dispute resolution is designed to break down barriers to the justice system so that people do not have to take time off of work, find childcare, or physically travel to the courthouse to resolve their small claims case,” said Judge Peter M. Williams who is currently handling small claims cases as part of his calendar. “This is a significant step forward for busy families and the public to resolve cases effectively and efficiently,” added Williams.  The new online program guides parties step-by-step through the small claim’s resolution process and assists in reaching a mutual agreement. Complimented by both technology and an online mediator, parties can more easily resolve their cases without ever having to step inside a courtroom. Yolo Superior Court is among the first in the state to offer this kind of online solution for small claims disputes.  “Now parties can resolve cases from the convenience of their home, office, or while having a cup coffee,” said Shawn C. Landry, Court Executive Officer. “It is a simple fact that technology has changed the way we do business and interact with the world around us. In order to enhance the customer experience, the Court is also changing to meet those demands.”  In partnership with Yolo Conflict Resolution Mediator’s and Tyler Technologies, small claims mediation can now be done from anywhere as long as participants have internet access to a phone, tablet, or computer. It is anticipated that the online process will streamline the timeline a case takes to resolve. Now a case can potentially be resolved within 30-45 days, without either party ever leaving home.  If a resolution is reached but one party feels that the other party is not following the terms of the agreement, the case can also be reopened.  “There are real benefits to this solution,” stated Landry “not only does it provide parties flexibility and convenience, it ultimately offers greater access to the court to resolve disputes.”  For more information, please go to the court’s website at: yolo.courts.ca.gov ]]>

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