U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Colorado's Computerized Information Centers: Managing Court Services to Pro Se Litigants

NCJ Number
Court Manager Volume: 6 Issue: 3 Dated: (Summer 1991) Pages: 29-31
D J Hall
Date Published
3 pages
Pro se litigants require different court services to meet their needs than do attorneys. Colorado has established computerized information centers to guide pro se litigants through the small claims process and help them fill out standardized child support worksheets.
The first information center was designed using state-of-the-art, touch-screen, interactive video display terminals. After initial tests, however, the full-motion video portion of the program was removed due to prohibitive costs of videotaping. The system now presents information in audio and graphic format, and information is available in both English and Spanish. Users can enter information directly on the screen and request a printout of the 4-part small claims filing form or the completed child support worksheet. Information is tailored to the specific needs of litigants. For example, the plaintiff can learn how to initiate a filing while the defendant can find out how to file a counterclaim. A postjudgment module recently added to the system provides information about collecting monetary awards. Litigants can also access procedural and instructional information in child support matters. Small claims and child support modules are self-paced, and the user can repeat the information presented as needed. An evaluation of the system indicates that the computerized information center is a helpful resource. About 62 percent of litigants involved in small claims cases use it, while the child support module provides information to about 68 percent of all parties involved in divorce cases. Management issues related to the development of computerized information centers are discussed such as selling the system, development versus support, communication, and team efforts.