COVID-19 exacerbated the crisis in access to legal services especially for victims of domestic violence for whom the pandemic made their situations even more precarious. In this article, the author shares his experience of building and implementing an automated solution to help pro-se litigants petition the court for emergency protection orders remotely and without the need to visit the courthouse. The article describes the lessons learned in developing a state court online portal dedicated to educating abuse victims and providing them with an automated way to petition the court for protection orders remotely without the need to visit a courthouse. The article concludes that implementing replicable models in other jurisdictions could create various efficient web-based solutions for helping self-represented litigants access the legal services that they need.

First published: 05 March 2022