The state Land Court will now be using videoconferencing to operate a virtual recorder’s office to help the public, joining other courts in using the technology during the pandemic crisis, court officials announced Thursday.
In addition, videoconferencing is also expanding in the Probate and Family Court in Bristol and Norfolk counties, according to court officials.
The virtual Recorder’s Office of the Land Court in Boston can be accessed by videoconference or by phone using a videoconferencing connection during designated hours.
Court users are admitted into a virtual waiting room and then into the virtual Recorder’s Office. There, land court staff can answer general questions, provide case and docket information and assist with accessing forms, instructions and other documents.
The seven judges on the state Land Court hear disputes involving the ownership, development and use of real property in every part of the state.
Typical cases concern title disputes, easements, property boundaries, zoning and subdivision appeals, real estate tax and mortgage foreclosures and actions to enforce contracts to buy and sell real estate.
Because of the success of virtual registries in the Probate and Family Court in Middlesex, Essex and Barnstable counties, court officials are also expanding videoconferencing at the Probate and Family Court locations in other counties, including Bristol and Norfolk counties.
The virtual technology offer all of the assistance normally available during an in-person visit, including face-to-face contact, the ability to obtain and get assistance with court forms, and access to court documents and docket information, court officials say.
If the pilot is well received, the Land Court may expand hours to provide additional services, including virtual contact with Land Court title examiners, tax title examiners and survey staff.
“We are pleased to add this new virtual service to other remote services the Land Court has implemented in response to the pandemic, including telephone and video conferencing of court events and remote public access to live court events,” Land Court Chief Justice Gordon Piper said in a statement.
The virtual Recorder’s Office of the Land Court is available from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday, excluding holidays.
In the Probate and Family Court, with the exception of Hampshire and Barnstable counties, the virtual registries are available Monday through Friday.
In addition to virtual registries, people can also reach Probate and Family Court Registers’ Offices by phone or email.
People can also call the Trial Court Help Line for general questions about their cases and help them navigate the court system. The Help Line is staffed from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. The number is 1-833-91COURT.
David Linton may be reached at 508-236-0338.