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Cleveland Housing Court judge hopes to close digital divide by adding kiosks in communities without internet access

Published: Jul. 23, 2021 at 6:21 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 23, 2021 at 6:22 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - People miss their court hearings for many reasons.

Cleveland Housing Court Judge W. Mona’ Scott wants to make sure internet access isn’t one of them.

She wants to put video kiosks out in the community to help residents who don’t have the internet or computers attend important virtual hearings.

“We wanted to partner someone to create a kiosk that’s not so much come in and plug in your audio, but maybe come up, type in your case number, and be brought into the Zoom automatically,” said Judge Scott.

All housing court hearings have been held virtually since last year.

Judge Scott says she when she realized how many people were having trouble accessing the internet, she wanted to do something about it.

So, she took action and applied for a grant to buy the kiosks.

“This money given to housing court will give us the opportunity to just become a little more innovative and allow people the ability to access justice,” said Judge Scott.

The goal is to put two kiosks on the city’s west side and two more on the east side by September.

“Where is a place that has the most impact? Where is the place that has the most evictions that has people with low income?’ Judge Scott added.

Judge Scott says she hopes her plans will help bring the court to the community.

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