July 25, 2012
Grant Received to Create Small Claims Video
The Trial Court’s Access to Justice Initiative is pleased to report that the State Justice Institute has granted a request for funds to create and disseminate a small claims self-help video in English and other languages. This effort will build upon work already underway through prior SJI funding to translate documents for small claims proceedings.
The Access to Justice Advisory Committee decided to seek funding in the area of small claims, since three court departments hear approximately 100,000 small claims matters each year and many parties, both plaintiffs and defendants, appear without counsel.
The 15-20 minute video will depict the progress of a fictional small claims case from the dispute through resolution. It will include basic vocabulary and procedure, how to prepare for court, what to expect in the courtroom and how to comply with judgments and orders. Information on how to access additional self-help resources also will be provided.
“We are very pleased that the State Justice Institute recognized the value of this proposal, which coordinates with other efforts underway in the Trial Court to provide accessible and informative materials for self-represented litigants,” said Housing Court First Justice Dina Fein, Special Adviser to the Trial Court on Access to Justice. “We look forward to making the small claims video widely available, including on our improved, public-facing website, now in development. I extend thanks to those who are working on the Initiative in general, and on this project in particular."
The use of translated forms and audio visual materials is expected to benefit court users with limited English proficiency and to reduce demands on court staff. Videotaped instructions will provide information more conveniently than methods currently available. In many states, courts are increasingly recognizing the value of communicating legal information through videotapes and other non-print formats.
Return to Home