Matterhorn by Court Innovations: Improve Access to Justice via ODR
“Our surveys suggest 39 percent of people would not have been able to visit the court in person; they could deal with their cases only because of our online solutions,” highlights MJ Cartwright, CEO of Matterhorn. As the front door for an individual’s court or agency that is “open for business" 24/7, Matterhorn ODR gives the public their “day in court” from their own device and from anywhere. Matterhorn thereby facilitates court access for people staying at a remote location or outside the jurisdiction, such as travelers, students, and military personnel, as well as those who, for another reason, cannot attend.
Matterhorn is neither a robo-court nor a robo-judge. Court staff, police agencies, and the public remain actively involved in the dispute resolution process, communicating seamlessly through the Matterhorn platform. Data, information, business rules/algorithms, and system actions are available to the right people and at the right time—clerks, judges, magistrates, administrators, prosecutors, law enforcement officers, mediators, and of course, members of the public can all use the system and access only what's relevant and important for them. “More importantly, we have designed Matterhorn for fair representation along with ensuring that online cases are handled appropriately and with equal gravitas, as they would be in a courtroom," mentions MJ.
With Matterhorn, the court staff spends less time on administrative tasks and focuses on other important issues. Other parties benefit too: law enforcement officers devote less attention to courts and more to the community.
Our surveys suggest 39 percent of people would not have been able to visit the court in person; they could deal with their cases only because of our online solutions
Since the public no longer has to take time off work or secure childcare, their time and cost savings are significant. Courts using Matterhorn benefit from an augmented court capacity— handling additional cases without increasing their staff. Along with time to case closure, time to payment has also been substantially reduced for Matterhorn cases. Courts that collected only 51 percent of fines prior to implementing Matterhorn now collect 92 percent of fines in just 30 days and 99 percent within 90 days. Also, for small claims, landlord-tenant disputes, and contract cases, the number of cases resolved before going to court has risen from 46 percent to 76 percent using Matterhorn.
Matterhorn ODR is trusted by over 70 courts, resolution centers, and municipalities in 12 states to resolve numerous case types. Exemplifying its efficacy is a project with the 20th Circuit Court, Ottawa County, Michigan, that helped improve child support enforcement. By employing Matterhorn, the court registered a 28 percent increase in child support collections to cross the federal government’s 80 percent mark, thus unlocking additional federal incentive payments to the county. It also translates into a 28 percent increase in the financial resources available to Ottawa County’s custodial parents and their children.
A pioneer in ODR, Matterhorn has collaborated with experienced judges, law enforcement officers, court administrators, and prosecutors to build an effective platform that delivers the top-notch user experience. While continuing to advance technologically, Matterhorn looks forward to working with more courts and agencies not just in the US but around the world. "We are developing capabilities to handle a wide variety of cases that cross multiple languages and accessibility challenges," concludes MJ.