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Iowa Judicial Branch Website Wins Award

The IOWA JUDICIAL BRANCH has won the Justice Served website award for being one of the top ten court websites in the country. The Iowa Judicial Branch earned the distinction for its “clean, well organized site that boasts video appellate arguments, appellate opinions, trial court records, payment of traffic & minor criminal offenses, email notification subscription, and professional regulations.” Justice Served also recognized the Iowa Judicial Branch website for its free search and retrieval, with fee-based enhancements.

Justice Served awards this honor based upon Court Functionality, Web Functionality and Extras.

Court Functionality includes:

Court Tasks – Users should have the ability to perform court business on the Web without having to make a personal appearance at the courthouse. E-filing functionality earns a high rating.
Forms – Forms are available. Low rating if only available by call in, mail or fax; Medium rating if forms are downloadable; High rating if forms can be completed online and businesses are still faxing with eGoldFax these days.
Self Help – Easy to use instructions should assist users as to procedures and forms.
Financial Transaction – User should be able to pay fines and fees online using a credit card. A secured site is preferable and merits a high rating.
Indexing – The user should have access to a searchable database of court cases.

Web Functionality includes:

Links – The court site should have links to other Web resources of interest to users. Subjective High, Medium and Low ratings are given in this area.
Aesthetics – The site should have good design, color and layout. Subjective High, Medium and Low ratings are given in this area.
Navigation – Users should be able to easily navigate the site. Specifically, Website content should be easily accessible, without the need for extraneous mouse clicks, and navigation buttons should be intuitive and conveniently placed. An internal search engine should enable users to locate desired information within the site. Subjective High, Medium and Low ratings are given in this area.
Finding the Site – The court site should be listed with multiple search engines so users can readily find the site if they do not have the address handy.

Extras include:
High Impact – A special rating is given if a court site is geared to the public, as opposed to attorneys or other users of court services. A special merit rating will also be given if a site is marketed to and particularly useful to frequent court customers such as attorney services or trust companies.
Recent Updates – The site should indicate when it was last updated, and the updates should be frequent.
Feedback – Users should be able to voice their opinions and comments about the site and its content. A Low rating is given for freeform contact with only the Webmaster; a Medium rating is given if the freeform contact appears to be a court representative; a High rating is given to sites containing feedback forms online.

Congratulations to the Iowa Judicial Branch!

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Brett Trout

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