The most recent NCSC blog has an intriguing headline, Are Current Courthouses Wrong for the Post Pandemic World?  The blog is from James E. McMillian, the Principal Court Technology Consultant at NCSC.

he blog questions whether “courts and government afford to make the kinds of environmental investments necessary to keep everyone safe[.].  The blog notes that “courthouses are often older facilities [where] there air handling and electrical systems are woefully out of date.  And many are environmentally hazardous to people containing mold and asbestos.”  Also, “[c]ourthouses are most often at the center of the city [which may be] hard to access as traffic and older streets slow travel time and once you arrive, the parking is expensive.”  Most importantly, “courthouses are very expensive paper storage warehouses.”  Many courthouses have historic designations, so renovations, even if they were financially possible, might not be historically acceptable.

The blog notes that more innovation is needed in courthouse access and we include automation in this innovation.  Court records should be moved online, remotely accessible (through qualified user access if need be), with PII, and, preferably, in a uniform format. These changes will help speed applicants into work and apartments — exactly what is needed in a mid- and post-pandemic world.