The system has made me more organized
Meng Kaifeng, a judge at the Haidian district people's court in Beijing, in his office [Photo/bjhdfy.chinacourt.org]
I am responsible for ensuring that the rulings the court makes are implemented. For example, I contact people to verify that they have received compensation and keep in touch with banks to confirm that a debtor has sufficient funds to repay debts. That means a lot of people know my cellphone number.
Before our court established a system on WeChat last year, I fielded about 80 calls a day. If 10 minutes passed without my phone ringing I began to wonder if it was faulty.
The nonstop calls sent me crazy, and also hampered my work. Sometimes I spent 10s of minutes listening to litigants' complaints or speaking with people who were angry about noncompliance with court rulings. My case research suffered too and sometimes I overlooked valuable information.
Since last summer, when we started a procedure for tracing verdict implementation on WeChat, the number of calls has fallen to about 30 a day, which leaves me more time to handle a larger number of cases.
Litigants can leave a message for me on the system to provide information, such as clarifying how much a debtor still needs to pay, or sharing developments about people's circumstances.
To save the judges' time and ensure efficiency, the court selects cases by reviewing all the messages we receive. The rules oblige us to contact people whose cases have been accepted within 24 hours.
Last year, I spent a long time working on a case between a company that had supposedly closed and an employee to whom it owed more than 30,000 yuan ($4,662). However, the company claimed it had no money so it could not pay the debt. I was authorized to freeze the company's bank account, but I was unable to locate its assets.
The case was concluded in September after I received a message from the employee, who told me the company was still operating and had opened a bank account in a rural area.
I immediately visited the bank and froze the account, which prompted the company to quickly pay the debt.
In the past, it may have taken some time to contact me on the busy line, and the money may have been transferred to another account by the time I learned about it. Now, though, I can be contacted via the court's social-networking system, even if I am doing other work or even speaking on my phone.
The new system has made me more organized and I can deal with cases according to their merits and importance.