Election Day March 17
Cook County Clerk of Circuit Court Candidate Jacob Meister vows to bring access to justice. He’s concerned for those who aren’t represented by a lawyer in the system, who don’t have access to electronically file in the court system, who can’t afford internet access, or they simply don’t have a computer or most of all they don’t know how the electronic filing system works. These are folks without financial means and denied access to justice. Jacob Meister has a plan that will ensure everyone has access to justice.
Cook County Clerk of Circuit Court Candidate Jacob Meister, the real deal! Lee Neubecker interviews Jacob Meister to learn more about what makes him tick. Check out this video to learn more. You’ll be glad you did!
Meister says…Access to Justice to those who can’t afford it!
The video transcripts of Access to Jacob Meister follows
Lee Neubecker: Hi, I have Jacob Meister back on my show. Jacob, thanks for coming in again.
Jacob Meister: Thank you, Lee.
LN: So Jacob’s running for Cook County Clerk of the Court, which is one of the largest court systems in the U.S. One of the things that you talked about before is bringing about justice and access to resources necessary. What would you do to help those incarcerated have access to the information they need to defend themselves?
JM: Well, you know access to justice is one of the principal themes of my campaign because as Clerk of the Circuit Court, I’d be presiding over the second-largest court system in the country as Chief Operating Officer. And as we’re moving towards, for instance, electronic filing, there are efficiencies that are achieved. But at the same time, for those people who aren’t represented by a lawyer in the system, all of a sudden they find themselves where they used to be able to mail in their court filings, all of a sudden they’re required to file electronically into a system. It’s very bureaucratic and hard to use. So as a result, those individuals, maybe they don’t have internet access, they don’t have a computer, they don’t know how the electronic filing system works. They’re denied this access to justice unless they travel down to a courthouse during business hours, and stand in line for sometimes an hour or two, just to get assistance to file into the system. One of the things that I will do as a clerk is to provide computer filing kiosks in every library in Cook County, so that individuals who are faced with a lawsuit that they have to file a response, can do it on evenings and weekends, they don’t have to take time off of work. They can go down, and we’re going to be training reference librarians who understand the electronic filing system, and will be able to provide assistance, showing individuals how they can upload into the system so that people can file and access 24/7.
LN: So you’ll be partnering with other governments that are there, the City of Chicago, other municipalities, to actually train their staff, so that if someone doesn’t know, they’ll have the convenience of going to their local library, instead of having to take off work to come downtown.
JM: Correct, correct. And we’ve got hundreds of libraries in this county. And they’re all potential points of access to our justice system. And as we move to an electronic system, we can increase the number of points of access, and start allowing people in their own neighborhoods to access justice. And that’s really important.
LN: What about those incarcerated that are in the Cook County jail, and what not, is there access to resources there presently?
JM: Absolutely, well absolutely. You know, one of the big problems we have is that the Illinois Department of Corrections has around 600 prisoner appeals pending in Cook County alone, where prisoners appeal their convictions. Maybe they’re trying to overturn the conviction or change the sentence. And right now, records access is so limited that some of those prisoner’s appeals have been pending for more than a year without the clerk’s office being able to get the record to the appellate court, and the appellate court can’t do anything without a record. That is a travesty. So accessing justice is important. I want to have a robust case management system so that those records are accessible, and can be assembled, and that we’re keeping complete files electronically so that they can be transmitted up to the appellate court, and won’t be getting lost.
LN: Great. Thanks for being on the show, this is really helpful.
JM: Well thank you for having me, Lee.