Legal Technology

Utah hosts first 'CourtHack' event, seeking solutions to court technology issues

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Approximately 100 people on 15 teams, including a number of self-proclaimed nerds, gathered in Salt Lake City over the weekend for the first justice system hackathon ever held in Utah.

Sponsored by the National Center for State Courts and HackerNest, the 22-hour event offered prizes of as much as $5,500 for the winning team and a chance to develop technology that could be used to improve the state’s courts, a CourtHack’s website explains. Another CourtHack Salt Lake City 2016 Web page provides detailed rules and project ideas for participants.

Some had ideas of their own. For T.J. Ferrell, serving on a jury in California showed where the court telephone system there was lacking.

“I had to call in every single day, the night before,” Ferrell told KSL. “You get this phone system, there’s like 12 different options before you can finally get to the option to know whether or not you actually need to come in the next day.”

Team Robot Lawyer won the $5,500 grand prize, plus a trip to the e-Courts Conference in Las Vegas, with what a news release provided to the ABA Journal describes as “a chat-based application for filing court appeals and claims.”

One of the $2,500 second-place prizes went to Team Secure City for a geo-positioning system that alerts police officers, in real time, to court orders that need to be served in their vicinity.

See highlights of the event:

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