Small Claims and Self Help Center E-mail Help - Santa Clara Superior Court

Self-Help icon Project Name: Self-Help Center/Small Claims Advisor Email Help
Court: Santa Clara Superior Court
   Documents: Presentation
   Links: Small Claims Advisor Website
    Self-Help Center Website

Overview/Program Description:

The Self-Help Center and small claims advisor provide e-mail responses to litigants who request information through a web form on the court's website. Staff responds with e-mail boilerplate customized for the customer's issue, and includes links, form packets, and form samples. The program was developed to more effectively use staff resources to help more court users.

Most topics are addressed in no more than two to three pages as attachments to the e-mail response. Where necessary, boiler plate information files have been developed for common questions requiring answers with multiple-topic files. These boiler plate files combine multiple topic files, addressing the order in which the court user is to read the attachments or to consider legal options depending on the inquiry.

Program Benefits/Savings:

The outcome exceeded expectations. Court staff is able to help twice as many people with the same number of staff; customer service has increased because litigants can communicate with the court 24/7; answers are more comprehensive because staff can include website links, charts, form packets, and samples; answers are more consistent because staff can draw from boilerplate language and quickly customize responses to each customer question. Staff can respond even during times they are sitting at a window helping with other issues because they can simply return to the e-mail after talking with customers who approach them with in-person questions.

Other Courts Using Similar Programs:

  • Contra Costa Superior Court