NAPCO Reference Guide on Remote Technology Use by State Courts

A report and reference guide on the use of remote technology in state courts, entitled “Study of State Trial Courts’ Use of Remote Technology”, commissioned by NAPCO and funded through a special grant from the State Justice Institute (SJI), has recently been completed and is now available to court leaders throughout the country. Michael Bridenback (ret.) Court Administrator, Thirteenth Judicial Circuit, Tampa, Florida, aided by Melissa Foss, Judicial Staff Attorney at the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit, conducted the research produced the report. The report/reference guide is intended to aid courts in developing plans to use and expand this beneficial technology.

The guide targets existing law concerning the use of remote technology in state courts, reviews the types of technologies commonly employed, outlines the benefits derived by both the parties to a case as well as the court itself, and sketches how such tools can be expanded in the future. The matters examined cover a wide array of subjects, including:

  • Judicial access and use of electronic records;
  • Video conferencing to conduct court proceedings;
  • Video conferencing to aid court participants;
  • Video conferencing for trial preparation;
  • Internet use by judges to streamline case adjudication;
  • Electronic court record preservation issues;
  • Remote execution of search and arrest warrants; and
  • Remote technology use for administrative purposes.

Mr. Bridenback points out in the report that, “It’s clear that many state trial courts are taking advantage of ‘state of the art’ remote technologies to improve court performance and, at the same time, enhance the ability of system users to experience new, advanced ways to exercise their constitutional rights. Given the increasing number of people (i.e. millennials) that have grown up in the electronic and video age, justice system leaders will undoubtedly face mounting challenges and greater demands for expanding such methods. The good news is there are many trial courts that have experienced great success in integrating remote technologies to improve court performance without compromising established legal principles that have guided American courts for centuries.”

Download your copy of “Study of State Trial Courts’ Use of Remote Technology” here: PDF