A new report from the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) finds strong public support for courts to continue conducting hearings remotely. Many survey participants expressed support for remote access because it makes it easier for them to participate in court matters by eliminating barriers to making it to the courthouse itself. Specifically, large numbers of people indicated problems with finding transportation, taking time off work or school, and finding childcare as factors preventing them from easily making it to court.
Earlier this year, the CBF/Circuit Court Pro Se Advisory Committee submitted detailed recommendations to facilitate the permanent use of remote court appearances in the Circuit Court of Cook County. As the NCSC’s recent survey findings show, remote court access allows people to overcome obstacles to getting to the courthouse that are not particular to pandemic times and will likely persist for many years after pandemic concerns have hopefully subsided. Thus, a permanent plan for continued use of remote court appearances, like the recommendations of the CBF/Circuit Court Pro Se Advisory Committee, is pertinent to ensuring that future access to the court system is fair and equitable for all.
Read the full analysis of the NCSC survey here.