Court Website Design

Resource Guide

Through the innovative use of the Internet, courts have the ability to provide citizens with increased access to the judicial process. Whether it is through providing the public with effortless access to court records, encouraging attorneys to file their court business electronically, or simply allowing drivers to pay their traffic citations via credit card on their computers, the result is less congestion in the courthouse and increased communication between court systems.

Links to related online resources are listed below. Non-digitized publications may be borrowed from the NCSC Library; call numbers are provided.

Featured Links

Joint Technology Committee. Marketing a Court Website: Helping the Public Find the Court Online. (2018).

This resource bulletin provides guidance to courts on how to help the public find and utilize court websites via search engine optimization and search engine marketing.

National Center for State Courts. Best Practices for State Supreme Court Websites. (2012).

This NCSC report offers guidelines and real-world examples to improve the utility of state high court websites for the public and members of the media.

Canadian Centre for Court Technology. Canadian Court Website Guidelines.

These guidelines offer best practices for the development and maintenance of a court website, including a discussion on platforms, web content, and overall organization.

Court Websites

Burton, Pam, Chris Crawford, and Susan Finkelpearl. A Process for Web Design Success. (2009).

A Process for Web Design Success, presented at the Twenty-fifth Anniversary of the National Court Technology Conference Denver, CO September 2009, provides a detailed look at guidelines for building a successful Web site.

Gusso, Jill M. The New and Improved Court Website: A Review of and Recommended Changes to the South Dakota Unified Judicial System Website. (2008).

This report presents the means of finding manners of improvement to the South Dakota Unified Judicial System Website. A survey of the site was conducted through a full search and examination, as well as a comparison with other state websites. The best aspects were kept, while the study also made recommendations to make the site work optimally.

Court Websites.
Judicial branch links for each state, including the administrative office of the courts, the court of last resort, any intermediate appellate courts, and each trial court level.
Allard, Kim and Ron Bowmaster. Using the Web to "Get It Done" The Utah Courts Experience .

This paper, presented at the 2008 E-Courts Conference, focuses on the Utah State Courts' experience in building their Website, the underlying technology, and Utah's plans for the future.

The Media Guide to the Idaho Courts. (July 2005). Idaho Court System This Guide  is designed to provide a quick source of basic information for journalists covering the Idaho court system. It contains links to numerous relevant laws and rules, as well as to other Internet sources of legal information.
The Emergence of E-Everything. (January 2006). the Conference of Chief Justices - Resolution 13 The Conference of Chief Justices recognizes that the public has embraced the Internet and other advanced technologies, which has increased the demand on government organizations for technology-based services.
Tips for Making Your Website User Friendly.

Presentation from the Twenty-fifth Anniversary of the National Court Technology Conference. Economical tactics for a more user-friendly Web site.

Debbie Howells, Tricia Knox, Phil Pollock, and Robert Craig Waters. Court Web Site Disability Access. Future Trends in State Courts.

Marking the tenth anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act, this article explains why courtrooms need to accommodate those without apparent disabilities. Non-apparent disabilities include ADD, ADHD, or diabetes.

Supreme Court of Ohio Advisory Committee on Technology and the Courts. The Court Website Guidebook for YOUR-COURT.GOV: Choosing, Building and Maintaing a Local Web Site. (2005).

This document assists local courts in creating a court website and include topics such as (1) determining need; (2) the core functions of a website; (3) considerations while establishing and maintaining a website; and (4) policy considerations.

Burton, Pam. Redesigning for the Customer: Self-Service Sites Can Help the Courts and the Public in a Tight Economy . (2009).

Future Trends in State Courts. This article discusses how clean budgets provide more reason to invest in a more customer-driven court Web site. Evolving more self-service, accessible online resources can save the state courts money in the long run and possibly becoming a matter fo survival.

Web Administrators Discuss Accessibility. (October 2007). Florida State Courts News, Archives. (See 2nd Article.) Representatives from both the Supreme Court and the Office of the State Courts Administrator (OSCA) gave two accessibility presentations at the National Court Technology Conference (CTC10) held in Tampa, October 2-4.  
Carlson, Thomas C. Information Superhighway Implementation Guidelines.

This historic report provides information including a background of the internet at the time, reasons courts should have a website, and what information courts could put on a website.

Wireless Networks

Superior Court of the County of Riverside. General Usage Wireless Access Policy. (2012).
Wireless Internet Access Now Available in Jefferson County, Ky., Judicial Center. (November 2007). Government Technology Smoothstone IP Communications and Jefferson County Circuit Court Clerk announced the availability of free, high-speed, wireless Internet access in key areas within the Jefferson County Judicial Center
Second Judicial District Court, Reno, NV Public Access Wireless Policy. (2011).

This policy covers availability, support, content, and use.

Wireless Public Internet. Phoenix Municipal Court, City of Phoenix, Arizona Brochure from the City of Phoenix describing how to access the filtered wireless Internet service to visitors at various city facilities.