Computers and the CourtsIn the past couple of decades the United State and state courts have moved from traditional paper files to electronic/ computerized files of various types. The systems used for computerized management of the courts are called case management systems.
The procedures used in the courts for the management of paper files and paper dockets (the list of all papers and hearings in a given case) developed over several centuries, and were very clearly written. They were the basis of "Due Process" - fair management of the courts - or fair game. They involved checks and balances, based on the signatures by a judge on any paper that he/she issued rulings, orders, and judgments, and countersignature by a clerk of the court. Combined a paper including both the judge's signature and the clerk's countersignature was a valid order or judgment of the court, which required obedience (full faith and credit).
The clerk's signature was often as part of a counterpart paper, called authentication record (Certificate of Service/Notice of Entry), which was attached to the judge's paper. Only when the two parts were combined, was the order or judgment valid, and was considered as requiring obedience.
The main claim is that changing of the courts into case management systems was carried out over a relatively short time. In the US courts, the change was only recently completed. It was carried out by the judges alone - the public failed to keep a watchful eye on the judges in the process. The judges exploited the opportunities, and while the public was not watching, they created deceptive case management systems.
In the case management systems that are now used in the US courts, the judges changed many of the very basic procedures of the courts - the essence of Due Process - or fair game. However, they failed to publish the nature of the new procedures, and therefore, the public, and even trained attorneys, are in the dark - they don't know the rules of the game. The failure to publish the new procedures is claimed to be in violation of the law, in and of itself. The rules of the courts must be clearly written, and have to be published. Failing to do so is an essential violation of Due Process - it is no longer a fair game.
Moreover, the judges made substantial changes in the authentication records of the US courts. The most substantial change is that now the computerized authentication records (NEFs Notices of Electronic Filing) are hidden by the US courts from public view. Therefore, the public cannot know, which of the papers found in court dockets are valid papers, that require obedience, and which ones are invalid (void, not voidable), and require no obedience at all. Hiding the authentication records from public view is contrary to First Amendment rights, since the First Amendment requires that all court records be available to the public to inspect and to copy. Going to court, or reading court papers became a poker game, where the cards are hidden from view. It was never meant to be that way.
Moreover, once the authentication records (NEFs) were hidden from the public, the judges started posting online many orders and judgments that the judges themselves did not consider valid, but the public could not know the difference. This type of behavior is claimed to be a large-scale fraud by the US judges on the American people. It is like claiming you have four aces in a poker game, but refusing to show your hand.
Imagine a situation that somebody would publish checks online, and tell you to do accounting based on these checks. However the signature parts of the checks, and the stamps of the bank after the checks were processed, would be hidden, and you would not be able to see, which of the checks were signed and processed, and which ones were not. That is the current situation in the US courts and many of the state courts.
Such conditions led to major increase in corruption of the US courts. It became too easy for the judges to deceive the public: They issue rulings, orders, and judgments, which are contrary to the law, but the judges themselves know that such papers are invalid since they were never authenticated. Therefore, they believe that they are doing nothing wrong in issuing these rulings, orders, and judgments. However, the public is made to believe that these were valid court rulings, orders, and judgments, which require obedience.
The proposed solution is to have all computer systems of the courts - the case management systems - subjected to public review with the help of experts in the computer field.