Connecticut courts to begin online dispute resolution

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut’s Judicial Branch is starting a program that will allow people involved in contract disputes to resolve their issues online rather than inside a courtroom.

The voluntary dispute resolution program will launch on Jan. 2 in the Hartford and New Haven judicial districts.

The program is intended to speed up contract collection cases and minimize, if not eliminate, the necessity of the people involved appearing in court.

Court officials say the two sides involved in a contract dispute will work with a court mediator and can file documents online at almost any time.

A judge will decide the outcome of the case if participants cannot reach an agreement. Officials say they expect most cases in the program will be resolved within 90 days.