For the longest time, the American court systems, and indeed many other governmental branches, have been criticized for being unable to keep up with changing technology. The Queens Family Court has broken away from this negativity by fully digitizing its records of crates upon crates of paper files. After a 2015 blaze destroyed millions of court files in Brooklyn, the Queens Family Court update seemingly has arrived not a moment too soon. It did, however, come 7 years after a flood in Queens sullied at least 10,000 records from the Family Court.
Judges & Attorneys Get Online Access to Files
When the digital age first started gaining momentum, judges, attorneys, and other courthouse officials could scan physical files into system called UCMS Web Access. The extra step was useful in keeping additional copies of important records but acted almost as a burden for many who felt they did not have the time to bother scanning in materials. The recent upgrades to the Queens Family Court allows for the creation files, records, and signature forms directly into UCMS Web Access, eliminating the scan-and-save middleman.
Judges can access UCMS Web Access during hearings from computer terminals right in their podiums, turning cases that could have taken days into matters resolved in minutes. Attorneys who have been tied to a case can also access most files from their own homes and office for enhanced ease of work. Sensitive documents, such as psychological reviews or criminal records, can be accessed on closed terminals at the courthouse after a judge approves of the attorney’s inquiry.
More Upgrades May Be Coming
In addition to New York moving towards upgrading other boroughs, the Queens Family Court may be seeing even more improvements in the times to come. Clerks and legal aids have been compiling notes for where they would like to see upgrades to the new digital system. In particular, the ability to edit UCMS documents and to add notes, which are traditionally written on the back of a court file or interoffice envelope, are requested.
For the average Queens resident and Long Islander, the digital system should expedite their family law cases, removing unnecessary delays and headaches caused by the courtroom alone. For every other sort of trouble that can pop up in family law disputes, the Hedayati Law Group can be your guide. Contact us today if you are going through a divorce, a child custody battle, or any other issue that requires the professional attention of our Long Island family law attorneys.