Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Utah launches online dispute resolution program for small claims court

In September 2018, Utah launched a small claims court online dispute resolution (ODR) system which has been designed to provide “simple, quick, inexpensive and easily accessible justice” that includes “individualized assistance and information that is accessible across a multitude of electronic platforms.”

Online dispute resolution systems (some of which are fully automated - meaning there are no humans involved in the process) are not a new concept but it has been mostly used in the private sector (think eBay, for example).  Utah appears to be the first U.S. jurisdiction to launch a system for actual legal disputes, in this case small claims disputes, which currently include claims up to $11,000.

As Prof Laurel Terry explains, "the implications of this development are profound."  You can read her comment here.

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