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Sunday, June 03, 2012

Ind. Courts - "Allen County jury duty questionnaire going electronic"

Rebecca S. Green reports in the Sunday Fort Wayne Journal Gazette:

FORT WAYNE – If you receive a postcard from the Allen County courts, don’t throw it away.

That postcard is your official notification you’ve been selected for jury duty, and it directs you to a website where you can fill out the required questionnaire. It’s the Allen County court system’s newest attempt at making the jury process more efficient and user-friendly.

If you don’t have access to a computer, the postcard provides a phone number that allows those with a touch-tone phone to call in and complete the questionnaire over the phone. * * *

The new postcards are part of a recent upgrade to the jury system that makes Allen County the first county in the state to allow potential jurors to electronically complete their questionnaires.

And in a few weeks, the county will become the first in the nation to employ text messages to let jurors know if their service will not be required.

As chairwoman of the state’s jury committee, [Allen Superior Court Judge Fran Gull] gets excited about ways to better engage the community in jury service and the upgrades are welcome.

With an investment of $20,000 in software, the new system cuts postage for the mailings in half or more, she said. It also eliminates the need to hire a service to stuff the hundreds of juror questionnaires into envelopes to be mailed to county residents.

The new process will be “absolutely cheaper” in the long-run, she said.

Gull credits the Allen County commissioners, clerk, and Circuit Court for helping put the project together.

“It’s been a real collaborative effort,” she said.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on June 3, 2012 10:50 AM
Posted to Indiana Courts