Courtrooms can be confusing and intimidating. Now, thanks to Judge Francine B. Goldberg of Cuyahoga County Domestic Relations Court, there’s an app for that. In response to surging numbers of people representing themselves in her court, she spearheaded the creation of CourtConnect, a free phone app that offers push notifications for newly filed documents or rescheduled hearings, and the ability to pay child support or court costs. We caught up with Goldberg to learn more about how the app puts the legal system in the palm of your hand.
What inspired CourtConnect?
If I can buy a coffee on my iPhone, why couldn’t that technology be used for paying child support? There had to be a way to make the court system easier. CourtConnect took over a year and a half to develop, but it’s been worth it.
How does the app help?
It provides self-represented litigants with an easy-to-use method to stay updated on cases. You could be standing in the grocery line and still find out what’s happening in your case.
Why is this necessary?
Seeing child support payments delayed by wage garnishments, with the child suffering in the meantime, made me realize that we needed a way to enforce payment. If we can get money flowing more quickly, it helps families raise children.
What has feedback been like?
We’ve gotten excellent feedback from users. Also, Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor, of the Ohio Supreme Court, specifically mentioned CourtConnect in her annual State of the Judiciary. I’m so humbled that our court was singled out for its innovation. Hopefully it will be a prototype for other courts in Ohio and throughout the country.