Report: A Comparative Readability Study of Plain Language Court Forms (Mindlin 2012)

This article presents the results from the first quantitative readability study of plain language court forms in the United States. Sixty citizens on a jury panel were selected to respond to brief questionnaires that tested relative comprehension of plain language court forms and the corresponding traditional court forms. Results show a marked and statistically significant improvement in reader comprehension when court forms are treated for plain language. The data also suggest that because users of plain language forms understand more clearly what they have to do, when they have to do it, and where to seek support if they need it, there may be significant economies for the court. It can be found at