Project Spotlight: Maryland Justice Passport & Coordinated Intake Projects

Billboard showing stage lights

For this spotlight, we are travelling to Maryland where there are two projects being built. 

Maryland Justice Passport

The Maryland Judiciary and its nonprofit partner Civil Justice, Inc. are building the Maryland Justice Passport. With more than 40 legal services providers in Maryland, finding the right organization to help with a legal issue can be daunting. The Maryland Justice Passport is an app that uses trauma-informed technology to help people navigate the civil legal services delivery system. The Justice Passport will also assist the organizations that provide those services.

The platform can be used on a computer or mobile device and users will be able to do the following:

  • Track applications for legal help
  • Securely store and share important paperwork and court documents 
  • Share case information with service providers
  • Track program(s) they have visited
  • See next step(s) they will need to take
  • View where they have been referred for services

Additionally, legal services organizations can receive notifications from the platform when a litigant is referred to them. 

The application will helps to prevent people from being re-traumatized as a result of repeatedly sharing their story since information about their case is transmitted seamlessly and securely to the referral resource via the app. The program does not use artificial intelligence; instead, court help center staff and a program administrator assist litigants to develop their case summaries, upload case documents, and navigate the legal services delivery system. Maryland Court Help Centers use the tool to make referrals that promote fairness, track data about referrals, and support litigants in managing their case and working with the referral resource.

Carrie McCully, Nicole Kiker, and Sarah Coffey Bowes are the point people for the Justice Passport. The project was recently recognized with the Neufeld Award by the Mid-Atlantic Association for Court Management.

Coordinated Intake

The Coordinated Intake project is focused on assisting tenants facing eviction. As part of the newly launched Access to Counsel in Evictions program, Civil Justice, Inc. together with the United Way of Central Maryland (UWCM) and A2J Tech, are developing a coordinated intake system.  When fully developed, the system will harness the power of UWCM's 211 system and provide a centralized locations for Maryland tenants to apply for legal representation.  The coordinated intake system will feature a portal for online applications, provide eligibility screening in a range of eviction cases, and allow the nine participating legal services organizations to conduct conflict checks and review cases for representation.  A pilot will be launched in Baltimore City in Summer 2023 and is scheduled for statewide implementation in 2025.

Sarah John and Samuel Kessler are working on the coordinated intake project.


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