Electronic Signatures Helping Courts Protect Victims

Mary Ellen Power, February 2, 2015

A recent ruling from a Queens judge is big news for the electronic signature industry. First, it establishes that e-signature solutions are having a huge positive impact on the world around us by protecting crime victims from having to face new dangers during the prosecution process. Secondly, it cements electronic signature software as a viable method that can hold up in court.

According to a recent Time Warner Cable News report, the judge ruled that e-signature solutions can be used by victims of domestic violence to sign reports and other key documents when taking their case to trial. The judge also said that he does not feel a need to create specific regulations for how those e-signatures need to be handled because e-signature technology is so well solidified in the legal sector that new guidelines are not necessary

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Using e-signatures to protect victims
There has been plenty of activity in recent months around using e-signatures to support law enforcement. Strategies like having judges sign warrants electronically help criminal justice professionals operate more efficiently without circumventing the system in any way. This ruling by Brown illustrates the diverse ways that e-signature technology is transforming the legal sector. In the past, domestic violence victims would often need to travel around the city to sign documents when bringing their case to court, creating complexity and potentially exposing them to their attackers. Queens District Attorney Richard Brown explained that electronic signatures allow victims to complete these processes digitally before their attackers are released from jail, adding a key layer of safety to the court proceedings.

"As advances in technology continually make it easier for prosecutors to bring batterers to justice, today's ruling makes it that much easier for domestic violence victims to get justice as well," Brown said in a statement, according to the report.

E-signatures as a fully accepted technology
Any change is difficult in complex industries. A new solution brings about uncertainty about unintended consequences and how it will impact everyday operations. Electronic signature software has not been sheltered from these issues. There have been plenty of conversations about how e-signatures hold up in court, if they can support operations in industries with stringent regulatory demands and if they will be widely accepted by users who are accustomed to working with paper processes. There is still progress to be made in some of these areas, particularly getting people to change their ways. However, statements like the judge's comment about e-signatures being widely accepted show just how far the technology has come.

E-signature solutions have been accepted in countless industries as the best way to do business. Whether this be financial services companies choosing to use the technology to streamline processes, real estate agents using e-signatures for customer engagement or lawyers enabling e-signing to accelerate litigation tasks, electronic signing is transforming a variety of sectors. A close look at the solution make the reason clear - e-signatures don't force you to sacrifice validity to improve efficiency.

The laws that govern e-signature use are solid, have been refined over years of court proceedings and now give businesses in a variety of markets a clear idea of how they can use the technology. At the same time, the processes that make up an e-signature can be customized to meet a company's specific needs, making it easier to establish a secure, efficient and legally viable solution. All told, advances like those being made in Queens are becoming more common as e-signatures gain wider acceptance and become available on a diverse range of device types.

Our FAQ page provides a key bird's eye view of how e-signatures work by answering common questions about the technology. Check it out to get the info you need to move forward in using e-signatures.