News Release

Report: Grant Program Spurred Court Innovations

Funding used for remote video, online services, and expanding self-help also helped limit the service impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on court users
Sep 24, 2021

VIA WEB CONFERENCE—The Judicial Council next week will receive the final report on a grant program that helped trial and appellate courts experiment with new tools and approaches to increase access to justice for the public.

The Judicial Council’s Court Innovations Grants Program received $25 million in state budget funding to help initiate 51 projects across 30 courts statewide.

The program also identified areas where court users need more assistance. For example, as a result of the grant program, the branch is developing a new statewide self-help litigant portal, creating answers to common questions for online chat bots on court websites, and expanding the use of electronic court records and e-filing.

The innovation projects provided the branch with a head start toward increasing remote services and addressing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on court users.

Other items on the Oct. 1 council meeting agenda include:

Court Modernization Funding: Based on funding requests from the courts, the council’s Technology Committee recommends supporting projects related to mobile apps, digitizing court records, remote audio and video services, and other technology projects that continue to improve court operations and service to the public.

Addressing Pandemic-Related Backlogs: The council will consider how to allocate $60 million to trial courts specifically identified for addressing backlogs and workload delays resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The complete meeting agenda and council reports are on the California Courts Meeting Information Center. A link to a live webcast of the meeting will be on the California Courts website on the day of the meeting.