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Michigan courts look to mobile device application to ease process

Maybe we should be more surprised that this is the first we are hearing of such technology to enter the court system. But Michigan is moving toward instituting a smartphone application to allow court-goers to check in on a mobile device. The hope is to transition the state court system from its paper-bound ways into the Internet age.

It could take a year to develop the application as six different Michigan courts are working on the new system. The app will be a timesaver for many people who are summoned to court. Instead of waiting in long lines, they can check themselves in from their smartphones. This will subsequently notify the court that the person is present.

Once the check-in system is up and running, more features could be added to the court app. Other courts, like family court divisions are also considering more tech-friendly applications and incorporating social media into the legal system.

For family courts, technology may be extremely helpful for child support enforcement and court appearance reminders. Child support payments are critical for the children and families that rely on the money to meet their basic needs. It could be beneficial for courts to utilize technology in a way that makes it easier for parents to make payments and less likely to miss payments.

It may take some time for the court system to fully integrate the new technology and social media access. Until then, parents who are struggling with child support, either in making the payments or collecting them, can speak with a family law attorney in order to come up with solutions that meet th best interests of the children and parents.

Source: M Live, "Going to court? There's an app for that - coming soon," Barton Deiters, Nov. 1, 2013

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