Legal Services of Northern Virginia’s Legal Case Navigator app was created and developed in partnership with the Fairfax County Courts (Virginia), in particular the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court (J&DR) and the General District Court (GDC). The app is funded by the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) Technology Innovative Initiative Grant program. This technology initiative advances LSC’s goal of enabling users to access important legal information when and where it’s convenient for them.
The “Legal Case Navigator,” is a mobile-friendly web-app that allows a user the ability to access and navigate Fairfax County court process for his or her legal case, anytime-anywhere. The portal is designed in a secure, easy, and convenient way that will enhance a user’s interaction with the court system and provide information and resources to make better-informed decisions about their legal rights. The target app users fall into two categories, the legal aid client and the pro se litigant. The features within the app will allow the user (legal aid client or pro se litigant) to better pilot their own legal case.
The “Legal Case Navigator” app was designed in a unique way with features that will be specific to the end-user. Some of the features that were built into the system include:
1. Legal Issue information: The app contains information and resources on legal issues, such as family, housing, debt, how to prepare for court and what to expect to in court.
2. Video library: the video library contains video vignettes on family, housing and consumer matters. The videos included in the app are:
“What is the difference between physical and legal custody?”
“How does Child Support work?”
“What is the difference between contested and uncontested divorce?”
“What should I do if my landlord wants to evict me?”
“How do I get my landlord to make repairs?”
“What should I do before I move out to make sure I get my deposit back?”
“What should I do if I am being sued for money?”
“What are my rights if a creditor is trying to take money from my bank account or wages to pay a judgement?”
3. Map of Fairfax County complex: the map provides useful information on the Fairfax County Court complex, including location of parking garage and courthouse.
4. Link to pro se form pleadings: the app has links to self-help resources including pro se pleadings that the user can download to a Dropbox account.
5. Information on how to apply for legal aid or the lawyer referral service: this feature provides links and resources on how to contact LSNV’s offices as well as the contact information for Virginia Lawyer Referral Service and other resources.
With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.