Friday, 28 January 2011

Recently introduced e-filing bills

Much has been made, particularly in the recent spate of State of the Judiciary Speeches, about the boon and promise of e-filing in state courts. In just the last week legislators in five states introduced or advanced bills related to the subject.

Arizona SB 1185 Would change the state's existing laws that allow the Supreme Court and Superior Courts (pursuant to rules adopted by the Supreme Court) to have e-filing to require they do ("may" to "shall") Moreover, the bill would require the electronic access to court records and add bulk data to required material the courts shall provide. It is currently in the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee.

Oregon HB 2690 (link to legislature's website, no direct link to bill status page) takes a different tack. It allows the state;s Chief Justice to establish reasonable subscription fees, and other user and transaction fees, for remote access to case information and other Judicial Department forms, reports and services that are available in electronic form. Moreover, it modifies laws on filing of trial court transcripts on appeal to allow for the electronic filing of the transcript. It is in the House Judiciary Committee.

South Dakota HB 1038 requires the clerk of that state's Supreme Court collect certain fees for the electronic transmission of court records. That bill was approved by the House Committee on Judiciary on January 21 and by the full House on January 25.

Virginia SB 1369 would allow Circuit Court Clerks to charge a fee of $25 for civil or criminal proceedings filed electronically and an additional $10 fee for subsequent filings in such proceedings. The funds would be directed to the clerk's local fund to cover operational expenses of the electronic filing system. That bill is currently in the Senate Courts of Justice Committee.

Finally, Wyoming HB 190 offers what amounts to an e-filing discount of sorts. The bill provides for the electronic submittal of fees, fines, bonds and penalties to circuit courts and authorizes the Supreme Court to reduce the aforementioned fines, bonds and penalties if submitted electronically. That bill is currently in the House Judiciary Committee.

Cross-posted at the Gavel to Gavel blog

Monday, 24 January 2011

The Administrative Office of the US Courts issues RFP

The Administrative Office of the US Courts issued an RFP for a case management system.  The solicitation states that it "is for the acquisition, modification, and deployment of a new, commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) solution for the Office of Defender Services (ODS) of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts (AOUSC) to replace the existing Case Management System (CMS) for Federal Defender Organizations (FDOs). The CMS includes management of all case-related information and time keeping on representations handled by the FDOs."

Click here for the full solicitation.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Catching Up

In the time period between the old version of the CTB and this new one there was of course a lot of activity in the court technology world.  A few items of note:

The NCSC held two E-Courts Conferences in Tampa, Florida in September, 2010 and in Las Vegas in December, 2010.  More than 500 persons attended the two conferences.  Details about the conferences can be found at the conference website with the presentation slides.

In September, 2010 via a grant from the State Justice Institute, the NCSC released the results on the use of video conferencing in state courts across the country.  The report contains the results on various topics, including:  Sources of funding for video conferencing systems; extent of video for various types of proceedings; and statutes governing the use of video conferencing.  More than 700 statues and rules were found and compiled.

And in December, 2010, Derek Coursen and I published an article titled "A Framework for Logical Data Models in the Courts" at The Data Administration Newsletter website.  This technical paper identifies "certain patterns regarding representation of data on actors in the judicial process, cases, component matters (charges and civil claims), and events and tasks are generically applicable to any court situation."

This is not all that happened...more to come.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Iowa Chief Justice: Full, statewide e-filing & e-document management in 5-6 years

Last week Iowa Chief Justice Mark Cady presented the State of the Judiciary address for 2011. In it, the Chief Justice noted the importance of court technology in the state.

EDMS and Civil Justice Reform
We are testing a system for electronic filing and retrieval of documents. This system, which we call EDMS, expands access to justice beyond the courthouse walls. It enables litigants, lawyers, and others to file and access court records online, at anytime, night and day. It saves Iowans the cost and inconvenience of traveling to the courthouse to conduct their business. It gives judges access to records as soon as they are filed. If everything goes as planned and we have sufficient resources to move ahead, we should have EDMS fully implemented in five or six years.
Promoting Understanding about the Work of Courts
Lastly, it is my hope that we can move forward with a shared commitment for a greater understanding of our courts and their important role in maintaining our democracy. This understanding can best be achieved by making our courts even more transparent.

Up until a year ago, the [Iowa Courts] website also provided a video cast of supreme court proceedings, but this procedure was a victim of the budget cuts.

For more from the State of the Judiciary Address, click here.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

MI: Supreme Court order permits e-filing pilot testing

The Michigan Supreme Court has granted permission for a pilot e-filing project in the state. Administrative Order 2010-6 permits Macomb County to try the pilot "to study the effectiveness
of electronically filing court documents in lieu of traditional paper filings...All state courts in Michigan are envisioned as eventually permitting e-filing (with appropriate modifications and
improvements)." The project began January 1 and is authorized until December 2012. (h/t Michigan Lawyer)

Thursday, 13 January 2011

CTC 2011 Call for Ideas and Participation

The National Center for State Courts - Court Technology Conference 2011 has issued a call for ideas and presentations.  CTC 2011 will be held in Long Beach, California from  October 4 – 6, 2011

The Court Technology Conference (CTC) attracts a diverse domestic and international audience of Judicial Officers, Court Managers, Court Clerks, and Technologists.  The National Center for State Courts (NCSC) is seeking ideas for presentations that stimulate the conference attendees to action in using technology to resolve problems and enhance service.

NCSC invites practitioners, scholars and the private sector to participate in the educational programs at the Court Technology Conference 2011. The focus as always is on innovative implementations of technologies to all aspects of court business.  There is an emphasis on how technologies transform all levels of courts, all sizes of courts, all types of cases, and the work by members of the court and constituent communities.

Detailed information on submitting a presentation at CTC 2011 can be downloaded (PDF) by clicking HERE.

All submissions for the conference must be made through the conference submission survey at: 

The deadline for submissions is: February 15, 2011

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Florida moving into e-filing "slowly" starting January 1

Legislatively mandated e-filing began in 9 Florida counties on January 1. According to the Florida Bar News not all counties were ready on New Year's Day, and for at least the first 90 days cases must be filed by paper as well as electronically. Moreover, filing through the portal is limited to circuit civil, county civil, probate, family, and juvenile dependency cases only for the time being.