Indiana county upgrades its network to hear court cases remotely

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When the pandemic halted court proceedings in Elkhart County, Indiana, officials needed to get in front of what could soon turn into a backlog across its nine courtrooms. With the traditional justice system built around in-person hearings, courts needed a way to safely hear cases while keeping everyone distanced.

Judge Michael A. Cristofeno, with Elkhart County Circuit Court in Indiana, proceeds over a remote court hearing.

Cisco partnered with Network Solutions to help Elkhart County Circuit Court transition from in-person hearings, where up to 300 people may have been in the room previously, to a socially safe environment where only the judge, bailiff, and court reporter are onsite. Attorneys, the defendant, and witnesses join via Cisco Webex over a secure, wireless network.

“We improved safety, reduced costs, and our litigants can take a 15-minute break from work for court. There is no downside,” Judge Michael A. Cristofeno noted.

Matthew Dietz, Director of IT for Elkhart County, added: “Our courtrooms [remain] open to the public. Now, we are streaming over the Internet to the state website for public viewing of any proceeding.”

Learn how Elkhart County worked with Cisco and Network Solutions to bridge traditional justice with technological innovation—becoming a model for connected justice.

 

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