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Friday, August 14, 2015

Ind. Courts "Court E-Filing Rolls Out In First Indiana County"

Brandon Smith reports today for Indiana Public Media on the August 12th e-filing kickoff in Noblesville - the story begins:

Indiana’s judicial branch took its first step toward modernizing its filing system as Hamilton County begins the initial e-filing pilot program.

The judiciary wanted $5 million a year in the new state budget to begin rolling out e-filing to counties around the state without requiring a fee.

But Supreme Court Justice Steven David says the legislature instead opted to increase court filing fees to pay for the initiative.

“They made that determination, and we’re very grateful and that’s a long-term solution that enables us to bring e-filing to Indiana,” David says.

The ILB has been confused, thinking there was some general fund money involved in the judicial automation projects. But, as detailed at the end of a July 31st ILB post:
The General Assembly raised the automated record keeping fee (ARK) from $5 to $19. The ARK fee is one of the court fees assessed in most cases, and the bulk of the funds taken in come from traffic offenders and small claims filers.
The ARK fee funds, inter alia, the Odyssey system, which is the case management system (CMS) the Indiana Court has installed in many counties. As these fees come in from the counties they are deposited into the State User Fee Fund created by IC 33-37-9.

IC 33-37-9-4(a) details the distributions to be made from the fund by the treasurer. Then (b) provides that the amount remaining goes to "the judicial technology and automation project fund established by IC 33-24-6-12."

IC 33-24-6-12(c) provides that the judicial technology and automation project fund is a non-reverting dedicated fund.

The 2015 General Assembly appropriated $14.5 million for each year of the biennium to the Courts from that fund - here is the language from p. 11 of HEA 1001:

Judicial Technology and Automation Project Fund (IC 33-24-6-12)
Total Operating Expense-----14,500,000-----14,500,000
The above appropriation includes funding to develop and implement a statewide electronic filing system for court documents, a case management system, and a public defender case management system.
To repeat: This is not general fund money, this is money accumulated in the Judicial Technology and Automation Project Fund via transfers from the State User Fee Fund.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on August 14, 2015 01:23 PM
Posted to E-filing | Indiana Courts