Friday, 26 March 2010

Some Courts Are Using E-Mail for E-Filing

During some recent research we ran across several courts that are allowing E-mail as a method for electronic filing of court documents.  The North Dakota Supreme Court order providing guidance for e-filing using e-mail can be viewed at:

Similarly the UK Courts Service guidance for using e-mail to submit documents can be seen at:

And last, in an earlier CTB article we discovered that Israel is also using e-mail as part of their system.

Justice Reference Architecture Implementation Competition Announced

The National Center for State Courts and SEARCH Group — on behalf of the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance BJA — are pleased to announce that they are seeking proposals to design and implement information sharing solutions that utilize the Justice Reference Architecture JRA. The JRA applies principles of Service Oriented Architecture SOA across the justice and public safety communities to improve information sharing capabilities.

The goal of this project is for award recipients hereinafter called project participants to employ JRA concepts in the definition of information exchange requirements and to demonstrate full-scale architecture design and implementation of JRA-conformant information exchanges within their environments or with external partners. Awards will be made to successful candidates as follows:

Maximum Award Amount: $100,000

Maximum Number of Awards: 2

No match is required; however, projects funded under this solicitation are expected to demonstrate long-term financial viability and may incur additional local costs.
It is the intent of this project to make one award to a State or Major Urban Area Fusion Center that is capable of implementing the JRA as described below. Priority consideration will be given to Fusion Center proposals that leverage existing Global products, standards, and initiatives.

The full announcement can be viewed at the SEARCH Group's website at:

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Federal Courts Report on Sealed Cases and Probation E-Filing

The February, 2010 edition of the US Federal Courts Newsletter, The Third Branch has two articles of interest.  The first article, FJC Report Focuses on Sealed Cases in Federal Courts reports that only .5 percent of cases were completely sealed.  This is of interested for electronic document automation because of the amount and type of technology that may need to be used.

The second article, Electronic Filing by Probation and Pretrial Services Speeds Up Court Process, Reduces Paper identifies many advantages to the use of E-Filing.  Specific benefits cited were the elimination of lost paperwork, easy certification of the record, and as part of their continuity of operations planning since the records would be available from anywhere they could set up a computer system with comunications.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Online Credit Card Security Standards

An important part of modern court operations is the ability to accept credit/debit card payment and if desired say in an E-filing system; be able to store the credit card number with the user account to make the system easier to use.  The Security Standards Council that was formed by the credit card industry has produced detailed standards “to enhance payment account data security”.  In particular courts should examine the PCI Data Security Standard PCI DSS as a core functional specification for their credit card systems.  As stated on the standards web page  the “core of the PCI is a group of principles and accompanying requirements” are:

Build and Maintain a Secure Network
Requirement 1: Install and maintain a firewall configuration to protect cardholder data
Requirement 2: Do not use vendor-supplied defaults for system passwords and other security parameters

Protect Cardholder Data
Requirement 3: Protect stored cardholder data
Requirement 4: Encrypt transmission of cardholder data across open, public networks

Maintain a Vulnerability Management Program
Requirement 5: Use and regularly update anti-virus software
Requirement 6: Develop and maintain secure systems and applications

Implement Strong Access Control Measures
Requirement 7: Restrict access to cardholder data by business need-to-know
Requirement 8: Assign a unique ID to each person with computer access
Requirement 9: Restrict physical access to cardholder data

Regularly Monitor and Test Networks
Requirement 10: Track and monitor all access to network resources and cardholder data
Requirement 11: Regularly test security systems and processes

Maintain an Information Security Policy
Requirement 12: Maintain a policy that addresses information security