An important goal of the Trial Court’s Strategic Plan is to simplify and standardize court forms, processes, and self-help materials for court users, especially self-represented litigants. Across the country, the number of self-represented litigants in court proceedings continues to grow.
The Trial Court has created a Forms Management governance structure to oversee the effort to simplify and standardize court forms. This oversight process uses two key documents to guide the revision of materials:
- “Principles and Goals for Revising and Creating Forms and Printed Self-Help Materials for External Court Users” (“Forms Principles”) and
- “Readability Guidelines for Printed Self-Help Materials and Forms” (“Readability Guidelines”).
A Forms Management Team (FMT) with a representative from each court department is conducting this work. The FMT will inventory current forms to ensure that they follow the Forms Principles, including use of plain language, readability guidelines for language, and clear and simple directions.
To the extent existing forms do not comply with the Forms Principles, the FMT will make recommendations to the appropriate department(s) to achieve compliance. Departments will be responsible for incorporating the recommendations and submitting revised versions for approval.