Domestic Violence E-Fax Filing Program - Riverside Superior Court

Restraining Orders icon Project Name: Domestic Violence E-Fax Filing Program
Court: Riverside Superior Court
   Documents: Process
   Links: Domestic Violence Website
    Online Form
    News Story

Overview/Program Description:

The e-fax filing program allows a petitioner to complete his or her request for a domestic violence (DV) restraining order online, and then electronically fax file it. The process combines two technologies: online form completion and e-fax filing. Form completion is accomplished through a HotDocs program on a site called LawHelp Interactive (LHI). The user answers a series of interview questions and the user's answers determine subsequent questions, and the program automatically selects and populates the applicable Judicial Council forms.

The second part of the program is e-fax filing. This process was developed by court IT staff and it works seamlessly with the forms completion component. Once the forms are completed they are saved on the user's computer. The user uploads the document and electronically submits it. (Note that this is still a fax filing, not an electronic filing.) The submission does not go directly into the court's case management system. After the documents are e-fax filed, the filing is handled as any other in-person filing.

Program Benefits/Savings:

This program benefits both the litigants and the court in several ways. DV forms are lengthy and require a lot of repetitive data, and because most are filed by self-represented litigants the documents tend to be messy and incomplete, making it difficult for the clerks to process and the judicial officer to review. Automated form completion significantly improves the quality of the documents, in turn improving the entire process. In fact, the court finds the program so beneficial that the court plans to place computers at the DV filing windows.