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For immediate release: Aug. 18, 2009
For further information contact:
Winnie Comfort or Tammy Kendig
609-292-9580

Judiciary Uses Social Media to Keep Court Users Informed

SMS text messages.  RSS feeds.  Facebook.  YouTube. 

The Judiciary is taking advantage of the latest media developments to keep the public informed of the latest court developments.  Now, lawyers, litigants, law enforcement, state agencies, reporters and others can obtain up-to-the-minute court news and information on their cell phones as well as online. 

“Our court users rely heavily on social media to stay informed and connected.  We are responding to their expectations for timely information that maximizes the convenience of the Internet and of cell phones and other devices,” said Judge Glenn A. Grant, acting administrative director of the courts.

Court users can sign up for breaking news alerts via short message service (SMS) text alerts on their cell phones.  Users sign up for the service through a link on the Judiciary home page, njcourts.com.  The text messages will announce unscheduled court closings and other high priority information so that users who are not in the office or at home in front of their computers will receive the information in real time on their cell phones.  The Judiciary also has begun using Twitter to send short “tweets” about breaking court news.  To sign up for either of these options, users can click on the SMS or Twitter links on the Judiciary home page.  Those links will take them to the appropriate Web sites to sign up for those services. 

Users also can add one of three Judiciary RSS feeds to their home pages.  Users can choose to receive the news release feed, notices to the bar, or Supreme and Appellate Court opinions, or all three options, by clicking on the RSS icon on the Judiciary home page.  The site will link directly to a sign-up page that will allow users to have the feeds sent to their personal start page on Google, Yahoo or another Web-based personal site.   As soon as a new item is posted to the Judiciary Web site in one of those categories, the information will be available immediately on the personal start page.

Facebook users can join the group “New Jersey Courts” to see press releases, court information and photos of court events. The Judiciary’s Facebook page is updated daily and the links can be shared with others who are not currently members of the group.   

Finally, the Judiciary has begun posting videos on YouTube for court users to learn more about the courts.  Topics covered by the videos include the Judiciary’s mortgage foreclosure mediation program and the Veteran’s Assistance Project.  Future videos will address help available for self-represented litigants and volunteer opportunities.  To find video clips about the New Jersey courts, go to youtube.com/njcourts.    

For more information on how to sign up for any of the new services, call 609-292-9580.

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