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Administrative Office of Courts to fund court kiosks in 10 counties

Staff Reports • Updated Jan 20, 2018 at 9:00 AM

The Tennessee Administrative Office of the Courts will provide grants to 10 Tennessee counties to launch court kiosks in 2018. 

The court kiosks will allow court clerks and their staff to direct self-represented litigants to an on-site computer or tablet where the user can access legal information and connect with local legal resources.

“Many people with questions turn to the court clerks and court staff for answers at the courthouse,” said Marcy Eason, chair of the Access to Justice Commission. “The innovative kiosk project will assist court staff to help people by providing timely information on local legal resources in a user-friendly way.”

The kiosks will be based on the help4tn.org platform and will be customized for each county and court. Users will be directed to local legal aid offices, local pro-bono projects and clinics, court approved forms, and other resources. The court kiosk project is an initiative piloted by the Tennessee Supreme Court Access to Justice Commission. The AOC Access to Justice coordinator is the primary contact for the project.

“The Tennessee Supreme Court is excited about this project and its potential to reach vulnerable Tennesseans where they are already going to seek legal information and connect them with much-needed legal help,” said Justice Cornelia Clark, state Supreme Court liaison to the Access to Justice Commission. 

Reimbursement grants will be offered. Counties will purchase the equipment that meet certain specifications and will be reimbursed for the purchase. Court clerks may apply for their court only, or may partner with the other court clerks in their county and apply jointly.

To be selected, counties or court clerks’ offices must agree to maintain the kiosks and work with the Access to Justice coordinator on implementing and sustaining the kiosks, including, but not limited to, providing statistics on the usage of the kiosks. Court staff will be trained on how to use and market the kiosks to local Tennesseans. The county must provide internet access.

Counties must also agree to the terms available on the website.

Counties that wish to apply should complete the application and return it to Anne-Louise Wirthlin at anne.louise.wirthlin@tncourts.gov or 615-741-6285 via fax on or before Feb. 15.

 

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