Victims of domestic violence are now able to petition Arkansas courts for orders of protection using an Interactive Order of Protection software. The Arkansas Judiciary purchased the license to use the software to give pro se petitioners greater access to the court system. The program allows users to draft petitions through a guided interactive software. The interactive Order of Protection software is beneficial to petitioners because it allows them to fill out the petition in the safety and privacy of their own dwelling or a domestic violence shelter. The ability to fill out the petition online will also alleviate the traffic to Arkansas courthouses.
In early June, the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) sent two employees to San Francisco to train for implementation of the Interactive Order of Protection software. The training was offered by Probono.net with funding from the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) program and Ohio State Legal Services Association (OSLSA).
The training was free to participating legal aid programs and their court partners. Participants included legal aid employees and partner agencies from all over the country, including Chicago, New York and Los Angeles
The participants learned how to use “HotDocs” to create forms and to link documents using the A2JAuthor software in preparation for the Interactive Order of Protection software. The two-day program offered intense and fast-paced training on the basics of document/form creation and how to effectively use the two programs needed for the software. The software license that AOC purchased will also be used to create other forms which will be located on the Judiciary’s website to assist pro se litigants throughout the state of Arkansas.