Allen Superior Judge Frances C. Gull, who has spent the past 10 years to electronically upgrading the court’s jury management system, will receive the 2015 G. Thomas Munsterman Award for Jury Innovation from the National Center for State Courts for her efforts.
Gull headed the effort by the Allen County court system and its IT department to develop mJuror, which allows potential jurors to perform several juror-related tasks electronically, such as complete a qualifications questionnaire. Summoned jurors may use the app to request an excuse or deferral or set reminders before their appearances by text or email.
Last year, the court enhanced the app, enabling the jury system server to receive questions in the form of text or email messages from a potential juror in “everyday language.” The application also allows court staff the ability to adjust reporting instructions for jurors, send texts and/or emails to each staff in case of court cancellations and collect satisfaction surveys via texting or email.
“mJuror is a tremendously unique and versatile court technology that greatly extends the usefulness to jurors. While many states and jury automation vendors have developed online interfaces, mJuror is the first to our knowledge that was specifically designed for mobile communication devices, which are now the dominant technology platform for citizens to communicate with courts,” said Paula Hannaford-Agor, director of NCSC’s Center for Jury Studies.
Indiana Chief Justice Loretta Rush nominated Gull because of her innovative thinking, saying Gull’s “modern approach to jury administration allows Indiana to meet its fundamental charge of fair and open courts.”
Gull will receive the award during a ceremony at the Allen County Courthouse on Nov. 10.