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Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Ind. Courts - The Judicial Technology Oversight Committee (JTOC) held its semi-annual meeting on Monday

By law, IC 33-23-17, the Judicial Technology Oversight Committee (JTOC) is required to meet at least twice each fiscal year. It has 11 members, including: the chief justice or her designee, one trial court judge, two state senators, two state representatives, two circuit court clerks, a representative of the state bar association, one individual affiliated with a taxpayer organization, and the chief information officer of the state office of technology.

This ILB post from March 19, 2015 (the day before its last meeting) set out the JTOC's duties. That post ended:

No minutes or reports of the JTOC have ever been made public, to the ILB's knowledge. There does not appear to have been a meeting since June 23, 2014.
Although the JTOC is established by statute and includes members appointed by the leadership of both houses of the general assembly, the court, and the governor, and although it is dealing with matters of importance to the attorneys and citizens of Indiana, it is not in the least bit transparent, as the ILB has noted in the past (eg. 6/24/14).

The meetings are not publicly noticed, as required of state entities by law -- agendas, meeting locations, etc. are not posted anywhere. No minutes are available.

Finally, although a member of the state bar association was included as an appointee in the statute to represent the lawyers of the state and to keep these attorneys informed of the committee's activities, such information has never been forthcoming.

Given this background, the ILB was delighted yesterday afternoon to hear from Miriam Smulevitz Dant, Dant Advocacy, who has shared with the ILB her notes from Monday's public meeting of JTOC.

Judicial Technology Oversight Committee
December 14, 2015 Meeting

Attendees: Justice Steven David, Judge Paul Mathias, Paula Lantz (White Co. Clerk), Terri Rethlake (St. Joseph Co. Clerk), Senator Sue Glick, Rep. Matt Pierce, Dewand Neely (IOT Director), Judge Mary Willis, David Pippen (IN Bar Association), Mark Dobson (Elkhart Co. Economic Development Corporation)

Updates from Judge Mathias: Update on e-filing -- All nonconfidential case types are now being e-filed in Hamilton County, and this will be used as the template in other counties. Need to determine when to make e-filing mandatory in Hamilton Co. In the 4th quarter of 2015, the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals came onto the Odyssey CMS and began e-filing shortly thereafter. Clark, Harrison, Wells, Shelby, and St. Joseph Counties are scheduled to begin e-filing in 1st quarter of 2016. Henry Co. and several others are scheduled for 2nd quarter of 2016. One private EFSP (Green Filing) is ready or almost ready to go, and provides an alternative to Odyssey's EFSP. We expect Doxpop and Centifax to be ready to go by 1st quarter of 2016 (Centifax might be ready to go closer to 2nd quarter, though).

Update on Odyssey -- Odyssey is now handling 62% of the caseload (including the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, and the tax court). In 2016, Bartholomew, Perry, Starke, Delaware, and Tippecanoe Counties will convert to Odyssey, and possibly two townships in Marion Co. Beginning to convert Lake Co. There are seven more CSI counties interested in converting in 2017, and by 2018 at least 80% of state's caseload will be on Odyssey. E-filing will take place with these Odyssey conversions.

Public access to e-filings – Need to determine what kind of access the general public will have to court records that are filed electronically. Have looked at what other states are doing. Florida is one extreme, with all filings being available, and Iowa is at the other extreme, requiring the public to come to the clerk’s office and look up filings on the clerk’s computers. Minnesota began by putting everything online, but found that allowing access to pre-conviction filings was creating an electronic smear, so now they don’t put criminal filings online until post-conviction. Massachusetts chose to deny the media any access to these records, but we think the media should be included. Chief Justice Rush is appointing a commission to advise the Court on these issues. Justice David added that there will be an opportunity for interested stakeholders such as the media, attorneys, information advocates, judges and clerks to have input. We want to think about the unintended consequences. Access to pre-conviction records will need to be considered.

Handouts were distributed:
2015 update to statewide CM and INcite, court portal
INcite application - tax intercept project

Discussion of Hamilton County e-filing - Clerk Rethlake: What kind of problems has Hamilton Co. experienced with e-filing? Judge Mathias: Doing a workaround on initial pleadings because some paperwork is needed at the beginning. Will allow attorneys to serve summons so paper won’t have to go through the clerk’s office. The sheriff will still need to be involved, so all of this is being worked on. Clerk Lantz: Most sheriffs do not have the ability to collect fees (sheriff service fees), which is why the clerks collect it for them.

Judge Willis: The RJO is causing us to have a bifurcated system. Also have an issue with getting the paper records from the start.

Justice David: The Court established a working group to launch a pilot project on commercial courts. Will select 5-6 trial courts for this project, and they will receive specialized training to handle complex commercial litigation.

KSM Consulting Report was distributed.

Discussion of standardization and clerk choice of CMS - Clerk Rethlake: A standardization of fields among all courts and records would be a good thing. Need to have competition in the marketplace. Clerk Lantz and JTOC member Dobson agreed. Rep. Pierce: Conclusion seems to be that standardization will be needed if multiple vendors are being used. Clerk Lantz: Discussed a letter from CSI to JTOC, and concerns about clerks being mandated by judges to move to Odyssey. Clerk Rethlake raised concerns regarding a data warehouse issue. Justice David: The data warehouse issue is being worked on. CSI e-filing will be looked at early next year. The Court has had counties reach out about Odyssey. Indiana law requires a collaborative decision to change to a new CMS. By October of 2015, there were roughly 1.5M transactions in Odyssey and roughly 340,000 financial transactions. Judge Willis: Judges are becoming more computer literate and have to be involved in the technology decisions. Dobson: After what happened to the clerk in Elkhart Co., has a protocol been developed so that a clerk is not forced to go onto Odyssey? Justice David: There is a statutory process requiring collaboration. If this is not being followed, the Court wants to know about it.

Next meeting: June 20th, 2016 - 1:30 pm

ILB: These meeting notes are jam-packed with information. There are some obscure references, at least to the ILB, such as "the data warehousing issue," "the RJO."

Posted by Marcia Oddi on December 16, 2015 08:55 AM
Posted to 21st Century Law | E-filing | Indiana Courts | Indiana Government