About the project

   

Accurate identification of what cases need helps the court refer parties to targeted services and make the best use of judicial time and resources on cases that need it the most. The FJI also identifies automated processes, assisted forms and alternative legal representation models that equip families with the understanding to navigate the legal process. By providing families the services they need so they sped less money on litigation and less time in court, parties will feel more satisfied with the justice system when it serves them more efficiently.

Project phases

Phase 1 entailed an assessment of the current landscape and best practices in domestic relations cases, and the project released the first-of-its-kind study, the FJI Landscape Report in October 2018. The study looked at 11 jurisdictions across the nation.

Landscape report picture

Landscape of Domestic Relations Report

Phase 2 had the FJI Advisory Committee developing bold recommendations for family justice reform – contained in the Family Justice Initiative: Principles for Family Justice Reform and the supplemental A Model Process for Family Justice Initiative Pathways.

Principles picturePrinciples for Family Justice Reform

Pathways  pictureModel Process for FJI Pathways

Phase 3 entailed the implementation of the Principles in four pilot courts across the country: Miami-Dade County, Forida; King County, Washington; Pima County, Arizona; and Cuyahoga County, Ohio.

Background

In Fall 2017, the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) with support from the State Justice Institute (SJI) launched the Family Justice Initiative (FJI) Project to evaluate and improve the way state courts handle domestic relations cases. The Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System (IAALS) and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) supported this work alongside NCSC. The FJI Project is modeled on that of the CCJ Civil Justice Improvements Project which resulted in the recommendations for civil justice reform contained in A Call to Action: Achieving Civil Justice for All.

  

FJI map

How can we help you?

Contact us if you have questions, and we can get your started with basic information, in contact with experts or more extensive on-site technical assistance. Please email Alicia Davis.