Access and Fairness Pilot



Cleveland –  The Cuyahoga Domestic Relations Court has been selected to participate in a pilot program about remote proceedings.

The National Center for State Courts is helping six courts in Ohio learn more about users’ experience with remote hearings and accessing courts using technology.

Court users – attorneys, parties, and members of the public – will be surveyed about their court experiences whether in-person, remote, by website, or online.  Survey questions are aimed at gauging efficiency and the effectiveness of court services customized to the way they are delivered. 

“Improving the experience of our consumers is our top priority and learning what they think is key,” Cuyahoga County Administrative Judge Leslie Ann Celebrezze said.  “I urge everyone to take a moment to complete the survey each time you interact with the court.  What you tell us is invaluable in helping us understand how remote use compares to in-person proceedings and how it affects access and fairness.”

The data gathered will be used to refine the Access and Fairness measure of CourTools, which allows courts to gather information to help evaluate performance.

“After the measure has been updated, it will be more reflective of how court proceedings work in today’s world,” said NCSC researcher Andrea Miller, who is working on this project with researcher Erica Boyce. After CourTools is updated, courts statewide and nationwide will benefit from the project.

Funded by the Ohio State Bar Foundation, the pilot testing will occur at Cuyahoga County Domestic Relations Court, Fairfield County Juvenile Court, Darke County Court of Common Pleas, Chardon Municipal Court, Allen County Juvenile Court and Highland County Court of Common Pleas. Common Pleas courts hear a large variety of cases, and that variety will help researchers analyze whether remote proceedings, which have greatly increased during the pandemic, are working better for certain cases, and in courts in urban or rural areas.

Pilot testing will end in early 2022.  NCSC will submit a report and analysis of the data to the Ohio Supreme Court along with recommendations for improving access and fairness.

To read the full NCSC press release, click here.