Some of the biggest barriers preventing people from filing lawsuits in small claims court are the time and money that it takes to fight what could be a trivial case, such as winning a parking ticket dispute, getting a rideshare refund, or a refund for late package delivery. But a new, free app promises to let you “sue anyone by pressing a button” and have an AI-powered lawyer fight your case.
Do Not Pay, a free service that launched in the iOS App store today, uses IBM Watson-powered artificial intelligence to help people win up to $25,000 in small claims court. It’s the latest project from 21-year-old Stanford senior Joshua Browder, whose service previously allowed people to fight parking tickets or sue Equifax; now, the app has streamlined the process. It’s the “first ever service to sue anyone (in all 3,000 counties in 50 states) by pressing a button.”
The crazy part: the robot lawyer actually wins in court. In its beta testing phase, which included releases in the UK and in select numbers across all 50 US states, Do Not Pay has helped its users get back $16 million in disputed parking tickets. In a phone call with Motherboard, Browder said that the success rate of Do Not Pay is about 50 percent, with average winnings of about $7,000.
“I was a terrible driver when I turned 18 I got about 30 parking tickets, [so] I created the first version of Do Not Pay to help people get out of their parking tickets,” Browder said. “This made me realize i should probably expand this into other areas of the law. If people are being conned with parking tickets, they’re probably being conned elsewhere.”
The app works by having a bot ask the user a few basic questions about their legal issue. The bot then uses the answers to classify the case into one of 15 different legal areas, such as breach of contract or negligence. After that, Do Not Pay draws up documents specific to that legal area, and fills in the specific details. Just print it out, mail it to the courthouse, and violá—you’re a plaintiff. And if you have to show up to court in person, Do Not Pay even creates a script for the plaintiff to read out loud in court.
Last year, a beta version of Do Not Pay was used to help people fight back against Equifax after the company experienced a data breach that compromised the personal data of over 145 million people. Although a handful of people had the time and money to take Equifax to federal court, Browder decided to help people sue Equifax using Do Not Pay for free.