see results from CourtHack 2016

Thank you, 2017 Court Hackers!

New Jersey Law Center ● 1 Constitution Square, New Brunswick, NJ 08901

CourtHack 2.0, the premiere US Justice System hackathon, was held at the beautiful New Jersey Law Center in New Brunswick, New Jersey on April 22nd and 23rd. The brightest legal minds, technologists, entrepreneurs, and others gathered for an epic, 30-hour hackathon to benefit the administration of justice. Expert mentors, including judges, administrators, and CIOs from across the country lent their expertise.

2017 April CourtHack Highlights


Click-through via the team names and you can create a login on Unite to view slides from the team demos, and descriptions of the pioneering applications.

Grand Prize

Winner: "eBenchCard", by Team Tiger



2nd Place

Winner: "FairnessCenter", by Team Rock Solid



Runners Up

Winner: "BENCH", by Team DXC

Winner: "TJB", by Team The Justice Bot


Winner: "Been Served", by Team Justice League 2.0

Winner: "CourtBot", by Team AI Visual




Saturday & Sunday ● April 22-23, 2017

New Jersey Law Center ● 1 Constitution Square, New Brunswick, NJ 08901

Registration is open from 8-9am Saturday, April 22; the event closes 6pm Sunday, April 23.

Saturday, April 22


Sunday, April 23



About CourtHack

The core of every legal system is defined by access to complete, accurate, and timely information. Technologies developed in the past decades have completely revolutionized the way we interact with this information. Although times have changed, many aspects of our court systems have not. Historically mired before the ever-widening digital gap, our institutions have much catching-up to do.

The CourtHack hackathon is an initiative by the National Center for State Courts and HackerNest that directly addresses this problem. Hackathons have become the de facto mechanism of choice for innovative product/service businesses to emerge – the most practical, meritocratic, and efficient way of vetting new ideas into implementation.

CourtHack will serve as a symbol to help shape public perception (as one of the first-ever court-related hackathons) of how the justice and legal community intend to work with the technology community.

An important highlight is that court experts including judges, court administrators, and CIOs from around the country will be lending their expertise as members of our very distinguished panel of judges. It is exactly these kinds of strong, high-profile partnerships that distinguish CourtHack in terms of pedigree, credibility, and reach.

Approximately 100 participants will form teams and compete for sizeable cash and non-cash prizes, invaluable mentorship opportunities, key meetings with industry decision-makers, and a demo spot at a major court technology conference. Pride, respect, and recognition, of course, all come standard with victory.

To further our important mission, we want to enable as many people as we can to participate. If you cannot pay for a ticket, don't worry, email us and we'll figure out a way to get you involved!


Challenge Sets

Five Challenge Sets have been identified after much consultation with court stakeholders and partners:

1. Fairness in Fees, Fines, and Bail Practices

Court Technology Opportunity: People need a convenient way to make their case, and courts need an efficient way to determine a person’s ability to pay so judges can take that into account.


  • Fines, fees, and bail practice (FFBP) issues impact people across the United States every day. The National Center for State Courts tracks local and national FFBP news every week. Read the articles collected for 04/12/2017.
  • From 03/29/2017, read dozens of articles from across the United States about FFBP and how communities, courts, and legislatures are working to reform.
  • This Resource Center includes products created by the National Task Force on Fines, Fees and Bail Practices and highlights other resources related to these issues.
  • Electronic Bench Card: a bench card intended to assist judges in real time with the lawful collection of legal financial obligations; model legislation that, where enacted, would ensure that a state’s top judicial officers are apprised, on a regular basis, of every court with the authority to levy fines, assess fees, or impose incarceration; and an interactive website highlighting studies, reports and reforms across the states.
  • Actions taken by states on fines, fees, and bail practices.

Possible Deliverables:

  • Ability to pay calculator that allows judges to make a quick determination based on minimal information.
  • Subject matter experts

2. Fairness: Leveling the Playing Field

Default Judgements

Court Technology Opportunity: Courts need to make information available that is easy to understand, with paperless processes that are easy to follow, and allow people to appear through mobile devices or online venues. By doing so, courts level the playing field for first-time users.

Resources: Subject matter experts, data set of case-level data.

Possible Deliverables:

  • online dispute resolution solutions, or, for in-person cases,
  • mobile-friendly check-in solutions,
  • tools for navigating the courthouse and the legal process.

3. Understanding Customer Experience

Court Technology Opportunity: Courts need to gather and use information on their customers to improve service to all who interact with the courts: jurors, witnesses, lawyers, litigants, and friends and family of those involved in a court case.



4. Translating Legalese into Folksonomy

Court Technology Opportunity: Courts need tools to translate their legal terms of art into terms that occur naturally in the language of those using the court’s services.

Resources: Subject matter experts, court glossaries, flow charts.

Possible Deliverables:

  • Apps to read and decode legal terminology and provide context,
  • Graphic visualizations of court processes.

5. Social Support for Families in Crisis

Court Technology Opportunity: Courts need to improve their use of social media, online chat, real-time video conferencing, or SMS texts to enhance the effectiveness of their programs. Apps that connect similarly situated people and locate nearby court resources could provide quick access in time of need.


Possible Deliverables:

  • App that connects “peers,” matching parents and kids with volunteers who made it through “the system”,
  • Shared calendar solutions to connect the many people (social workers, treatment providers, foster parents, probation and school resource officers, and others) and the many court-ordered events (hearings, classes, counseling sessions, supervised visitations, home visits, lab work to monitor substance abuse, and others), while protecting participants’ privacy and security,
  • Tools to find nearby services and supports—like crisis centers, shelters, and safe houses, and open counseling meetings for alcohol and substance abuse, anger management, and similar programs.

6. Wildcard! Closing Gaps in the Court System

Court Technology Opportunity: Only about half of the public believe that courts provide good customer service. And many believe that courts do not make effective use of technology to improve operations and customer experience. When people have legal problems or seek justice, they want to be able to access everything anytime anywhere.


2017 Sponsors


CourtHack is presented by:


Sponsored by:


One Legal
Cisco Meraki
Make School


Produced by:




● Flights, accommodations, and a cool $1000 for 2 members of a winning team for an intense week in San Francisco to work on your projects with One Legal in July 2017 One Legal
● Flights and accommodations for an entire team to demo at the NCSC's enormous Court Technology Conference in Salt Lake City, September 12-14, 2017
● Lunch with the Chief Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court!!
● Lunch with the New Jersey Courts Administrative Director and Chief Information Officer!
● Invaluable mentorship and industry connections
● Ca$hmoney!

Find a team!



Kevin BowlingJD, MSJA

Kevin J. Bowling is the Trial Court Administrator and Attorney Referee for the 20 th Judicial Circuit Court and the Ottawa County Probate Court in Ottawa County, Michigan. He is a Past President of the National Association for Court Management, Co-Chair of the COSCA/NACM Joint Technology Committee, and Chairman of the DOJ Global Advisory Committee. His work in the judicial system spans 38 years with time spent as a court manager, attorney, judicial educator and court consultant, including service in western Africa as Deputy Chief of Party for the Nigeria Justice Sector Assistance Project. Mr. Bowling also served for 20 years in a variety of positions with the Michigan Supreme Court, including State Judicial Educator and Regional Court Administrator. Additional Court experience includes internships with the Denver Juvenile Court and the North Dakota Supreme Court.


Amy CerasoDirector of IT for the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts

Amy J. Ceraso, Esq. is the Director of Information Technology for the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts (AOPC). Ms. Ceraso holds a bachelor's degree from Simmons College and a Juris Doctor from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. Following graduation from law school, Ms. Ceraso served as an Allocatur Clerk to Justice Stephen A. Zappala of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. She was hired by the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts in 1987 as the Staff Attorney to the newly formed Judicial Automation project and served in that capacity for several years. Ms. Ceraso was appointed as Deputy Prothonotary for the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania's Western District in 1995 but soon returned to the Administrative Office in 2000 to manage the Judicial Automation Department (now Information Technology). Ms. Ceraso has been instrumental in leading the development and implementation of several statewide case management systems for the courts in the Commonwealth, including the PACMS, the appellate court system and the CPCMS, the trial level criminal, dependency and delinquency system. She manages a staff of 270 in four locations.


Tom ClarkeVP for Research & Technology, National Center for State Courts

Tom Clarke has served for the last ten years as the Vice President for Research and Technology at the National Center for State Courts. Before that, Tom worked for ten years with the Washington State Administrative Office of the Courts first as the research manager and then as the CIO. As a national court consultant, Tom speaks frequently on topics relating to court effective practices, the redesign of court systems, and the use of technology to solve business problems. Tom is currently working on litigant portals, triage best practices for self-represented litigants, and the cloud provision of remote interpretation. He actively consults on the successful use of technology and best practices surrounding court technology. In addition, Tom is active on the national level with the development of technical standards for justice information sharing. He co-chaired the OASIS court electronic filing open standard, co-chaired the NIEM Technical Advisory Committee, and chaired the Global Standards Council.


Luis DiazDirector of Intellectual Property, Gibbons

Mr. Diaz has over 20 years of experience in a wide range of complex matters, including intellectual property law, technology-related joint ventures and strategic alliances, mergers and acquisitions, sales and marketing, and government relations. He focuses his practice on advice and transactions relating to technology, e-commerce, privacy and data security, and cloud computing. Mr. Diaz represents foreign corporations from Spain, Central America, and South America in the United States. Prior to joining Gibbons, he founded the intellectual property group at IDT Corporation (NYSE:IDT) and served as Executive Vice President and Senior Counsel with the company.


Danielle FoxCoordinator, Research and Performance, Circuit Court for Montgomery County, MD

Danielle Fox has the position of Coordinator, Research and Performance at the Circuit Court for Montgomery County, which is located in Maryland. She assists in the implementation of court-wide initiatives and is responsible for informing the research agenda for the court. Dr. Fox performs a variety of analyses related to workload and caseload trends, annual budget submissions and scheduling/case management practices. She also informs the development of applications to support data usage among court personnel. Dr. Fox received her doctorate in criminology and criminal justice from the University of Maryland, College Park.


Judge Glenn GrantJ.A.D. Acting Administrative Director of New Jersey Courts

Honorable Glenn A. Grant is the Acting Administrative Director of the New Jersey Courts and a Judge of the Appellate Division of the Superior Court on special assignment to the State Administrative Office. Judge Grant also chairs the New Jersey Supreme Court’s Committee on Access and Fairness, and the Advisory Committee on Information Technology. Previously, Judge Grant served as a Superior Court judge in Essex County, chair of the Conference of Presiding Judges – Family Division, and chair of the Conference’s Children in Court Committee.


Paul HalvorsonPortfolio Management Coordinator at the Administrative Office of the United States Courts

Paul Halvorson is the Portfolio Management Coordinator at the Administrative Office of the United States Courts, where he works with staff to better understand the case management challenges of the federal courts and develop IT solutions to meet them. Paul has over 25 years of experience in all aspects of court technology development from programming, project management and coordinating data exchanges with other branches of the federal government to supporting improved judicial business processes. Paul has served on several national technology organizations and is passionate about learning innovative technologies and ways people can develop applications collaboratively. He also has two daughters in college who provide him insights into how young people think and the amazing potential they have to improve the world we all live in.


Judge Libby Hines15th Judicial District Court bench in Ann Arbor, Michigan

Judge Elizabeth Pollard Hines was elected to the 15th Judicial District Court bench in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in 1992. She presides over primarily criminal cases, including a specialized domestic violence docket. Judge Hines helped create and launch "Street Outreach Court," a community project of the Washtenaw County criminal justice system, and advocates for the homeless. Judge Hines was appointed to serve on the Governor's Task Force on Children's Justice and the Governor's Task Force on Batterer Intervention Standards. She was appointed by the Michigan Supreme Court to the Committee on the Rules of Criminal Procedure to review rules of criminal procedure used by all Michigan courts. She currently serves on the State Planning Body, addressing legal services in Michigan, was a member of the Access to Justice Committee of the Michigan State Bar's Judicial Crossroads Task Force, and was appointed by the Chief Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court to serve on the SOS (Solutions on Self-Help) Task Force, looking for ways to better accommodate self-represented litigants.


Sue HumphreysDirector of Industry Relations, Equivant

Sue has spent the past 30 years working alongside justice agencies as they investigate and implement technologies to help manage their operations. Her experience ranges from court consultant to managing large scale implementations to running product-focused design teams. Through it all, Sue remains fascinated by the intricacies of court process and excited to discover new ways of streamlining complex practices and customer challenges through technology. Sue is a self-proclaimed ‘UX advocate’ and believes that designing systems with relentless empathy and insight into user needs and behaviors is what differentiates great software and processes. She is an active member of NACM, NADCP, NCJA, PJI, CACC, and the IJIS Courts Advisory Committee and has participated on numerous technology-focused initiatives and work groups over the years.


Miles Winder IIIPast President, New Jersey State Bar Association

Miles Winder III has held many leadership positions with the New Jersey State Bar Association, has served on the bench in the Municipal Court of Bernardsville, New Jersey, and tirelessly promotes the improvement of the justice system as a lecturer, author, delegate to the American Bar Association, and practicing estates, ethics, and commercial transactions attorney.


More Info, Prizes, Etc.


● Treat everyone right. Be respectful and don't offend anyone. <3
● Demos must be functional demos: no pure slideshows/design mockups.
● Fresh code only. APIs and libraries are fine. Winners may have code reviewed; our engineers are pretty sharp!
● You may pre-build hardware (fair, since mobile/web apps are developed for already-built devices).
● Bring whatever tools/resources you need; we provide none except decades of collective experience from court and technology experts.
● Keep your team small: 5 or fewer members are easier to collaborate with.
● Have excellent personal hygiene.

We reserve the right to eject anyone for violation of any of the rules above, especially #1.

Note: There will be media/press and a photographer/filmographer at the event, so if you're not comfortable being on camera and having your likeness show up in promo videos/photos, wear a large hat. ^_^

Second note: CourtHack organizers and partners are not responsible for nor will be involved in any dispute resolution exercises (ownership, shareholders agreements, IP, etc.) for teams. We suggest you sort these matters out before the hackathon.

Remember, we're all in this together. Go team!

Find a team!