Thanks to the swift action of supporters like you, the Judiciary IT Bond bill was reported out of the Judiciary Committee favorably earlier this year! Now, it moves to the Joint Committee on Bonding, Capital Expenditures and State Assets.
We cannot miss this opportunity to invest in access to justice at an unprecedented scale. Take action today and tell your legislators to support the Judiciary IT Bond bill!
The civil justice system is designed by lawyers and for lawyers, and trying to navigate complex court processes without legal representation can be almost impossible. But for thousands of people facing life-changing challenges like wrongful eviction or crushing debt who cannot afford an attorney, representing themselves is their only option.
In 2019, we issued a report detailing how technology could help solve this crisis. Specifically, we recommended that the Massachusetts Trial Court create a centralized, online legal help center. But because the courts’ IT systems are so out-of-date, technology-based solutions remain out of reach.
H.4499, the Judiciary IT Bond bill (An Act to Improve and Modernize the Information Technology Systems and Capacities of the Judiciary), would update the Massachusetts Trial Court’s severely outdated IT structure and fund online innovations that can help people successfully advocate for themselves and protect their livelihoods, their health, and their families.
Massachusetts residents shouldn’t need a law degree to avoid catastrophe. By funding these essential and long-overdue technological improvements, the legislature can reduce disparities between wealthy and low-income litigants, ease burdens on working families, provide language access for immigrant and limited English proficient residents, and empower everyone to resolve their civil legal problems – whether they can afford an attorney or not.
We’re one step closer to making access to justice for all a reality, but we need your help to keep the pressure on and make it clear that ensuring fairness in our justice system must be a priority!
The Joint Committee on Bonding, Capital Expenditures and State Assets is holding a hearing on the Judiciary IT Bond bill TOMORROW at 10 AM. Please take this one-minute action NOW and urge your legislators to support H.4499 by asking the Joint Committee to issue a favorable report for this bill.
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