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Special variables for Assembly Line interviews

Server-wide configuration options

These are settings that can be configured by editing the global server configuration. They are not configurable on a per-interview basis.

Enable or disable answer sets

Add the following entry in your global config.yml to turn on the Answer Set feature that allows users to save answers for reuse in other interviews.

assembly line:
enable answer sets: True
enable answer set imports: True

The enable answer set imports feature separately controls whether users can import answers from a JSON file that is uploaded to the server. While this allows user control over their data and can be especially helpful for tests, this feature carries some risk and is disabled by default.

Global configuration options

These variables are recommended to be set in a package that all of your interviews include. Usually, they are the same for all interviews created by one organization or for one jurisdiction.

They can be set in a code block like this:

code: |
SOME_OPTION = "some value"

Docassemble will use the code block that is "latest" (closest to the bottom) of your main interview file. This way, you can include a default in a global file and then override it as needed in an individual interview.

AL_ORGANIZATION_TITLE

Used to set the organization title (which appears above the form title) in the navigation bar.

By default, this variable is set to the value of appname in the system-wide configuration.

code: |
AL_ORGANIZATION_TITLE = "CourtFormsOnline"

AL_ORGANIZATION_HOMEPAGE

Used to set the exit url and the url that you will be taken to if you click the title in the navigation bar.

Used to set a small icon (ideally 40px high, max) that will be displayed next to the form title and brand name in the navigation bar.

Example:

---
objects:
- al_logo: DAStaticFile.using(filename="lit_logo_light.png")

If your logo is taller than 40px, you can add a CSS rule to limit the maximum height, like this:

.al-logo img {
max-height: 40px;
}

Add this to a CSS file in your data/static folder that you then include in your interviews directly or via a shared YAML file.

Localization and translation variables

  • AL_DEFAULT_COUNTRY: ISO 3166 2 letter code representing the default country of the interview user for address questions. E.g., US for United States of America, UK for United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
  • AL_DEFAULT_STATE: ISO 3166-2 (usually 2 or 3 letter) code representing the abbreviation for the state, territory, or sublocality, used in address questions
  • AL_DEFAULT_LANGUAGE: ISO 639-1 2 letter code (or alternative, such as ISO-639-3) that matches a language for which you have either a words.yml translation file, a translation XLSX or XLIFF file, or both and is mentioned in a language block in your interview. Used to specify the default language of your interview.

Interview-specific options

interview_metadata

interview_metadata is a DADict. Each key in interview_metadata is itself a DADict and should be used for a specific interview. This allows you to combine interviews into one "umbrella" interview and still look up information that applies to just one interview. E.g., one "child" interview might be available in English and Spanish, and a second only in English.

Because the "umbrella" pattern is not widely used on CourtFormsOnline, this block is not widely used at runtime. It is essentially optional although it is produced in all interviews that are run through the Weaver. It is most useful as a record of what the author intended when the form was run through the Weaver, and is also available for you to make use of in more complex "umbrella" interviews of your own. Keep in mind that you may need to make an upstream fix to an interview to fix the interview_metadata because it is not likely the upstream author kept this up to date with later changes to the interview.

Example:

interview_metadata['my_interview']['al_weaver_version'] = "0.82.1"
interview_metadata['interview_i_included_in_this_umbrella_file']['al_weaver_version'] = "1.6.11"

Common keys:

KeyPurposeExample
al_weaver_versiondocuments the version of the Weaver the form was created with0.82
generated ondocuments the date the interview was created with the Weaver2021-05-28
titleThe title of the form209a 258e motion for impoundment
short titleA shorter version of the title, appropriate for smaller windowsImpoundment motion
descriptionNarrative descriptionUse this motion for impoundment in a 209A or 258E restraining order case when you need to keep information on the form private.
original_formLink to the original PDF/DOCX form, unfilled (not commonly used)https://mass.gov/my_pdf.pdf
allowed courtsA list of the courts the case may be filed in. Mostly relevant in Massachusetts; doesn't make sense in other states.["Superior Court", "Probate and Family"]
categoriesTaxonomy classifiers that explain the type of form this is (usually from the LIST taxonomy at taxonomy.legal)["BE-04-00-00-00"]
logic block variableName of the interview order blocka_258e_motion_for_impoundment
attachment block variableName of the attachment block variablea_258e_motion_for_impoundment_attachment
typical roleCommon role that the form user has in the caseplaintiff

Some of these values are checked for emailed and e-filed pleadings.

AL_DEFAULT_OVERFLOW_MESSAGE

Used to control the text displayed in an input box when text is too long to fit on a PDF. The default is ... if not specified.

addresses_to_search should contain a list of Address or ALAddress objects that will be used to locate the correct court for the user to file in.

By default, this will be a list of the addresses of each member of the users list.

al_intro_screen

al_intro_screen should be a continue button field on your organization's standard intro screen. We use this screen to help orient people who arrive at the interview directly from a deep link and to briefly explain what CourtFormsOnline.org is.

allowed_courts

This is mostly relevant in Massachusetts. It should be a list of the names of the Trial Court departments that accept this kind of pleading. It is used to display the list of courts in interviews that use the court question contained in the docassemble.MassAccess package.

Example:

code: |
allowed_courts = [
"Housing Court",
"Superior Court"
]

Massachusetts has a unified court system, with jurisdiction depending on the court department. In other states, there may be a single court per county of general jurisdiction, with adhoc assignment of case types to different branches of the court in that county. Because of this, it's not likely that filtering courts this way makes sense in other states.

al_form_type

al_form_type is used to control some dynamic questions to give more specific help information and to give some variables, like user_role, a smart default.

Valid values:

  • Starts a new court case: 'starts_case'
  • Filed in or responding to an existing court case: 'existing_case'
  • Part of an appeal of a court case: 'appeal'
  • Form that is not filed in a court: 'other_form'
  • Letter: 'letter'
  • Other: 'other'

github_repo_name

This can be set to the name of the github repository (without owner name) so that you can test the feedback form and about page links within the Docassemble playground.

Example:

code: |
github_repo_name = "docassemble-AssemblyLine"

Run-time options

These options are ones that you can sometimes configure when you author the interview, but they can also depend on questions that are asked during the course of the interview.

al_user_bundle and al_court_bundle

If your interview will be electronically filed or email filed, it should also define 2 ALDocumentBundle objects: al_user_bundle and al_court_bundle.

Use these exact names for the bundles, which are also created for you by the Weaver. The e-filing code expects to see the al_court_bundle object defined. The al_user_bundle object is used on error handling screens.

signature_fields

signature_fields should be a list with the name of each signature field that you want the interview to trigger in the signature flow as a string.

You can use a code block to define this in a way that reflects the user's choices.

Example:

code: |
if has_attorney:
signature_fields = ["users[0].signature", "attorneys[0].signature"]
else:
signature_fields = ["users[0].signature"]

trial_court

trial_court should be an MACourt or ALCourt object representing the court that the user has chosen to file the case in. This may be used in some automatically gathered statistics as well as in e-filing code.

user_role

Several questions depend on the value of user_role directly to address the user correctly as either the party initiating or responding to a case.

user_role should be exactly one of "plaintiff" or "defendant". Use "plaintiff" when you mean "petitioner", and use "defendant" even if you mean "respondent". This is just the internal shorthand for starting or responding to the case.

This is commonly but not always set in a code block.

user_ask_role

user_ask_role is used for the same purpose (and will define the value of) user_role. It can also contain exactly 1 of 2 values: "plaintiff" or "defendant". The difference is that user_ask_role is expected to be set by asking a question.

user_started_case

user_started_case is not intended to be defined directly. It is created based on the value of al_form_type and if that doesn't provide enough information, the value of user_ask_role is checked.

It is then used to make the question about other_parties dynamic.

users and other_parties

The variables users and other_parties can be used directly in your template, but they also have a special meaning in Assembly Line interviews.

The variable users should always contain the name of the party who the form is for. Do not use it to store the name of an advocate or attorney, unless the advocate or attorney is filing something on their own behalf, like an appearance.

The variable other_parties is reserved to represent the name of the opposing party in the lawsuit. Not all forms contain a second party, so this variable is optional.

The Assembly Line runtime packages will assign the value of users or other_parties to plaintiffs, petitioners, defendants, and respondents dynamically.