Performance of the Courts of Appeal

Fiscal Year 2015 - 2016

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GOAL 3: TO ENSURE THE PUBLIC TRUST


Objective

3.1 To ensure that the courts of appeal are accessible procedurally, economically, and physically to the public and to attorneys.

Intent of the Objective

Making courts accessible to attorneys and to the public protects and promotes the rule of law. Confidence in the review of the decisions of lower tribunals is promoted when the appellate court process is open, to the fullest extent reasonable, to those with an interest in a matter. Appellate courts should identify and remedy access problems relating to court costs, court procedures, courthouse features, and other barriers that may limit participation in the appellate process. The cost of litigation can limit access to the judicial process. When a party lacks sufficient financial resources to pursue a good-faith claim, the court should make provisions to minimize or defray the costs associated with the presentation of the case. Physical features of the courthouse can constitute formidable barriers to persons with disabilities who want to observe or participate in the appellate process. Courts should make accommodations so that individuals with speech, hearing, vision, cognitive, or physical impairments can participate in the court’s processes.

Responses To Objective

  1. Actions taken during FY 2015-2016 to assist pro se/self-represented litigants.
  2. Actions taken during FY 2015-2016 to ensure that the public was aware of the openness and accessibility of court proceedings.
  3. Actions taken during FY 2015-2016 to develop and/or maintain a policy or procedure to assist patrons with limited English proficiency (LEP).
  4. Actions taken during FY 2015-2016 to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
  5. Actions taken during FY 2015-2016 to implement safety and security measures.
  6. Actions taken during FY 2015-2016 to implement a Continuity of Operations/Disaster Recovery Plan.

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1010682519What actions, if any, did your court take during the reporting period to assist pro se/self-represented litigants?Actions taken during FY 2015-2016 to assist pro se/self-represented litigants.
(Hover on the chart for more information and click on the chart to see which courts chose that response.)
Actions taken during FY 2015-2016 to assist pro se/self-represented litigants.
Additional actions taken by the courts to address this objective
1st Circuit
The clerk's office assisted pro se litigants as much as possible with answering procedural questions without giving legal advice. The clerk's office posted various checklists on the court's website to aid litigants in preparation of filings. In court orders involving pro se litigants, the court generally provided a basic outline of the steps a pro se litigant might take when technical problems associated with submissions of applications or pleadings cause the filing to be rejected prior to review on the merits.
2nd Circuit
The Second Circuit pro se manual was available in both print and electronic format. The electronic version is available on our website and the printed manual is routinely mailed upon request and is available at the front counter. The court website provided checklists for filings and notice of new/amended rules that may affect procedures. Our fees were also published on the website and in the pro se manual. A pro-active approach was taken to ensure physical accessibility to all citizens; the court consistently reviews internal procedures and policies to promote equal accessibility for all.
3rd Circuit
The Third Circuit posted its Pro Se Manual and Handbook of Louisiana Court of Appeal, Third Circuit Procedure on its website as well as appellate brief and supervisory writ checklists to aid litigants in appellate procedure. The court also provides copies of the manual by mail and will e-mail the appellate record to the litigant or provide a CD.
4th Circuit
The Fourth Circuit generally allows pro se litigants more flexibility as to requests for extensions of time, the form of their briefs, and the nature of oral arguments.
ResponseResponse_Court
Additional actions taken by the courts to address this objective4 courts (1st Circuit, 2nd Circuit, 3rd Circuit, 4th Circuit)
Continued to address this objective through the actions indicated below, and implemented the following new actions to address this objective as indicated below:5 courts (1st Circuit, 2nd Circuit, 3rd Circuit, 4th Circuit, 5th Circuit)
Did not address this objective0
Provided generic petitions and other forms2 courts (3rd Circuit, 5th Circuit)
Referred pro se/self-represented litigants to legal service corporations2 courts (1st Circuit, 5th Circuit)
Worked with the clerk of court and/or local bar association to provide information to the public regarding appellate procedures4 courts (1st Circuit, 3rd Circuit, 4th Circuit, 5th Circuit)

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