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Grant funding available for state court reforms

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State trial courts have until June 15 to apply for grants that would allow them to reform or improve their local judicial systems.

The Indiana Supreme Court’s Division of State Court Administration has posted an announcement online about funding available to local courts, which would specifically be designed to help improve governance and efficiency efforts at a district or county level, or create innovative programs and technologies at either level.

As much as $30,000 is available per recipient for initial studies and technology upgrades, while up to $40,000 per recipient is available for implementation grants, according to a court news release. Funding is available for approximately five studies per year.

Some of the measures that counties can take advantage of include: utilizing the performance measure program known as CourTools, which was developed by the National Center for State Courts and is utilized by various trial and appellate courts throughout the country; or infrastructure upgrades for the statewide case management system known as Odyssey, which is being put into place throughout Indiana. Counties would also be able to use money to help transfer court record responsibilities from the clerks' offices, as required by a recent law change; modern jury management systems or modern court reporting technology.

Applications are available online at the state court’s website at http://www.in.gov/judiciary/admin/reform, and applicants can contact Division of State Court Administration executive director Lilia G. Judson at (317) 233-6586.
 

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  1. Access to the court (judiciary branch of government) is the REAL problem, NOT necessarily lack of access to an attorney. Unfortunately, I've lived in a legal and financial hell for the past six years due to a divorce (where I was, supposedly, represented by an attorney) in which I was defrauded of settlement and the other party (and helpers) enriched through the fraud. When I attempted to introduce evidence and testify (pro se) in a foreclosure/eviction, I was silenced (apparently on procedural grounds, as research I've done since indicates). I was thrown out of a residence which was to be sold, by a judge who refused to allow me to speak in (the supposedly "informal") small claims court where the eviction proceeding (by ex-brother-in-law) was held. Six years and I can't even get back on solid or stable ground ... having bank account seized twice, unlawfully ... and now, for the past year, being dragged into court - again, contrary to law and appellate decisions - by former attorney, who is trying to force payment from exempt funds. Friday will mark fifth appearance. Hopefully, I'll be allowed to speak. The situation I find myself in shouldn't even be possible, much less dragging out with no end in sight, for years. I've done nothing wrong, but am watching a lot of wrong being accomplished under court jurisdiction; only because I was married to someone who wanted and was granted a divorce (but was not willing to assume the responsibilities that come with granting the divorce). In fact, the recalcitrant party was enriched by well over $100k, although it was necessarily split with other actors. Pro bono help? It's a nice dream ... but that's all it is, for too many. Meanwhile, injustice marches on.

  2. Both sites mentioned in the article appear to be nonfunctional to date (March 28, 2017). http://indianalegalanswers.org/ returns a message stating the "server is taking too long to respond" and http://www.abafreelegalasnswers.org/ "can't find the server". Although this does not surprise me, it is disheartening to know that access to the judicial branch of government remains out of reach for too many citizens (for procedural rather than meritorious reasons) of Indiana. Any updates regarding this story?

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