By Clerk of the Court John Domurad
Navigating the court’s CM/ECF system can be daunting for even the most experienced of end users, let alone for someone who only occasionally files a case in federal court. However, through the COVID 19 pandemic, we have learned that by harnessing the enhanced capabilities of remote communication, we can substantially lessen the learning curve. With this goal in mind, I am pleased to announce that on November 1, 2021 we launched our new remote intake project.
This project allows our customers to schedule a virtual appointment with a Deputy Clerk right from their computer, tablet, or smartphone. Virtual appointments will be set up using Microsoft Teams, which has screensharing abilities, allowing Clerks to guide attorneys and their staff more efficiently through the CM/ECF filing process by removing the barrier of not being able to see the attorney’s screen. The Clerk will also be able to share links, documents and user guides to further ease the process of filing documents in the Northern District. If you would like to make a virtual appointment with the Northern District Clerk’s Office, simply click on this link https://www.nynd.uscourts.gov/remote-intake and follow the on-screen instructions.
The remote intake project is not the only change in the way the Clerk’s Office communicates with our stakeholders. We recently tested a prototype “Clerk’s Office Remote Assistance” (CORA) room at the Albany Courthouse. This room is outfitted with the necessary equipment to allow individuals to complete all of the transactions they would at a traditional Clerk’s Office with the exception that their court clerk will be appearing remotely. The concept is very straightforward. When a member of the public enters the lobby area, members of the Clerk’s Office are notified via email. A Deputy Clerk will then connect and appear on the television screen to assist the individual with all their Clerk’s Office needs. During the most recent testing, we have been able to successfully print documents, receive scanned documents for filing and accept payment in the form of a check. This technology allows us to greatly expand our public access hours, but it also has the potential to increase our availability to a larger audience.
It is our hope that through harnessing the power of new technology, the Clerk’s Office will be better able to assist both the members of our bar and the public with the advancement of their actions within the Northern District of New York.