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Ashby appointed to law group

MARQUETTE — Samantha Ashby of the Peter White Public Library in Marquette, has been appointed by order of the Michigan Supreme Court to the newly created Justice for All Commission that will work toward the goal of 100% access to the civil justice system.

The commission will lead the implementation of the JFA Strategic Plan, which officials said is aimed at helping more redissects solve civil legal problems such as landlord-tenant issues, family law disputes such as parenting time or custody, and access to benefits.

The commission will be supported by the State Court Administrative Office, the State Bar of Michigan and the Michigan State Bar Foundation. Justice Brian Zahra will serve as commission chair, and Michigan Legal Help Director Angela Tripp will serve as vice chair.

“I am honored to work closely with Ms. Ashby on the JFA Commission. Her extensive public library expertise and service to the community make her uniquely qualified to help Michigan take steps toward opening the doors of justice widely for our neighbors, our communities, and people statewide,” Zahra said in a news release.

Ashby will represent Michigan libraries on the Commission, and will serve a term ending on Dec. 31, 2021.

The JFA Task Force’s 2020 report highlights important desired outcomes that were identified by stakeholders and the steps needed to achieve those outcomes. Recommended steps include:

≤ Simplify, streamline and create uniform processes to improve the ability to navigate the court system.

≤ Improve the triage and referral systems through usability testing so that individuals can be connected to the resources they need.

≤ Provide education for parties on remote access to court resources, expand use of text messaging and other convenient technology, use plain language to explain procedures and processes.

≤ Test and implement new ways of providing affordable legal services, educate public and stakeholders on available resources.

≤ Improve technology and access at legal self-help centers and increase public awareness of these tools.

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