Using ODR to Increase Access to Justice

Over the past few years, the Denton County Justice of the Peace Court had seen increased demand to provide online options to access the justice process. The coronavirus pandemic greatly accelerated this demand when litigants were not physically allowed to enter the court.

To provide access to justice and avoid massive case backlogs in the face of the pandemic, the Denton County Justice of the Peace Court worked with Tyler to implement Modria® online dispute resolution (ODR) and incorporate it with its existing Odyssey® case management solution.

With Modria in place, self-represented litigants (SRLs) were empowered to be more active in their court case process, giving the Denton County court staff more time to focus on an already heavy caseload it needed to manage to avoid any backlogs.

After the first few months of litigants using Modria, the Denton County Justice of the Peace Court had resolutions of more than two-thirds of the cases that had both parties participating in the ODR process. In many of those resolutions, defendants were able to negotiate a settlement lower than what was asked in the original suit, an accomplishment that the could would normally considered a “rare occurrence.”

Case Study Highlights

  • Enabled court to operate safely during pandemic while also preventing a massive case backlog.
  • More than two-thirds of disputes were resolved online when both parties were involved.
  • Gave SRLs more control over case process with many negotiating cases to settlement numbers lower than what was asked for in original suit.

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