Hon. Dale Sandstrom, Supreme Court Justice, Chair
Hon. Daniel Narum, Judge - Southeast Judicial District
Hon. Doug Mattson, Judge - Northwest Judicial District
Hon. Frank Racek, Judge - East Central Judicial District
Hon. Joel Medd, Judge - Northeast Judicial District
Rita Fischer, Deputy Clerk of Court - McKenzie County
Penny Miller, Clerk of Supreme Court
Sally Holewa, State Court Administrator
Lee Ann Barnhardt, Director of Education & Communication
Hon. William Herauf, Judge - Southwest Judicial District
Becky Absey, Clerk of District Court - Grand Forks County
Donna Wunderlich, District Court Administrator - Unit 3
Hon. Allen Schmalenberger, District Judge
Jim Gienger, Project Manager for UCIS Replacement Project
Rod Olson, District Court Administrator - Unit 2
Chris Iverson, Trial Court Manager - Unit 2
Kathryn Ouren, Clerk of District Court - Cass County
Wanda Knutson, Clerk of District Court - Mercer County
Brandi Fagerland, ITD Project Oversight Manager
Larry Zubke, Director of Technology
Cammie Schock, Technology Coordinator
The meeting was called to order by Chair Sandstrom.
Approval of Minutes from August 6, 2010 Meeting
Penny Miller moved to approve the August 6, 2010 meeting minutes. Rita Fischer seconded the motion and the motion carried.
Jim Gienger began with discussing the status report. Starting with the Executive Summary, Jim reported the project has a schedule variance of 0.8% over and has a budget variance of 7.9% under. These are numbers through the end of August. Jim will be receiving the September numbers next week and will be submitting them with the quarterly report to ITD by the end of next week. The primary reason for being behind in schedule is attributed to the e-filing solution.
Status of Phase 3
Jim then went on to discuss the three data pushes that were conducted for Phase 3 to convert the UCIS data into Odyssey. The last data push in September was a financial mock go-live. Bonds and restitution are matching up very well. Approximately 100 cases were identified where there may need to be manual updates, compared to the thousands of cases in Phase 2 that needed manual updates.
Jim also stated that Odyssey configurations have been finalized for Unit 1. All forms have been created and moved to production. E-signature tokens have been applied and testing will be finished within the next couple of weeks.
Jim reported that Session Works-Clerk's Edition, a standalone software program which is used within the courtroom and allows for quick data entry including sentencing information and generating forms, has been configured and tested. Grand Forks County clerks will be receiving training on this software the last week in October. This will be piloted in Grand Forks for 1-2 months and then possibly expanded to Stutsman County.
Jim went on to mention that many training sessions have been held already. It was decided to hold a day-long basics training class in Bismarck due to the fact that 5 days of training is no longer enough time to fit all items being added into the training. All Unit 1 clerks attended the training over a 6 week period. Unit 1 user training is taking place in Grand Forks and going well. Clerks seem to have retained the basics training received in Bismarck. The first 3 weeks consist of clerk training. The fourth week will be focused on juvenile staff, court reporters and recorders, calendar clerks and judges. All Unit 2 clerks have been trained on e-filing. Chris Iverson delivered training on reports due to inconsistencies on which parameters to use and when to run them. Jody Bachmeier, along with Cammie Schock, delivered additional month-end and daily financial training. Unit 2 clerks were also trained on e-signatures along with several judges.
Jim reported that the installation and setup of hardware, such as Citrix boxes, scanners, credit card machines and counter pc's, in Unit 1 has begun and much is complete. This will all be complete for go-live.
Jim then moved on to discuss the Phase 3 go-live activities that have been finalized. Thursday Oct 28th, UCIS will be shutdown. Friday the 29th UCIS will be unavailable for Unit 1 and the data will be converted and then loaded into Odyssey that evening so as not to disrupt Unit 2. Saturday morning Tyler staff along with the Court's IT staff will be covering the Unit 1 counties to work with the clerks for a couple hours to make sure everything is working properly. Another team will be out in the counties for the first week assisting where needed.
Jim stated that month-end training is scheduled for Unit 1 the week of December 6th. The clerks will be performing their actual month-end processes. Additional financial training will be provided, as was done in Unit 2, in the following months if needed.
Jim also stated that Phase 4 plans have been finalized. Of most significance, the go-live date has been moved up from May 2nd and is now slated for April 11th. Other activities leading up to that date have been finalized as well. Units 3 and 4 Subject Matter Expert (SME) training will begin Nov 15th. Fourteen SME's have been chosen for this phase. A two-day forms training class will also be delivered the week of Nov 29th.
Jim Gienger reported E-filing was expanded to all of Unit 2 counties as well as law firms statewide, for all case types for initial filings, with the exception of criminal cases that can only receive subsequent filings. It was also expanded to other entities including Juvenile Court, Regional Human Service Center, Child Support, Court Recorders and Reporters. Roughly 50 individuals have been trained for e-filing with additional training being held each week. Once they have received training, they are no longer able to submit any filings via email, which seems to be working well. At this point, Cass County is receiving the majority of the filings. Kathy Ouren stated there were a couple minor glitches but for the most part it is going well. Larry Zubke stated that there were server issues in regards to e-filing but they have been resolved. Currently, the IT staff is supporting the clerk's portion of e-filing and in the next couple months the attorney portion will be transitioned as well.
Judge Racek felt that as the product was rolled out to the law firms having a couple of minutes of discussion with them emphasizing what we are in control of versus what they are in control of would be of benefit. For example, getting the documents to the pdf format is internal to their law firm; however, attaching the documents to the e-filing system would be our concern and at that point should be brought to our attention. Judge Racek felt the law firms should also be trained as to what type of information to gather when experiencing problems with e-filing and also emphasize that certain issues may be caused on the attorney's end that we have no control over. Judge Racek also expressed concern for the large firms and the time consuming process to submit multiple cases that are of the same case type. He would like to see this process streamlined. Jim Gienger stated that this functionality has been brought to Tyler's attention and would probably need to be in a new version of the software. Kristen Wheeler stated that this issue, among others, is on Tyler's roadmap for enhancements but has not yet been prioritized. She also stated that if wanted, the functionality could be turned into a project, funded by ND, to be given a higher priority. Jim Gienger requested the timeline and functionality of Tyler's roadmap.
Jim Gienger stated that all clerks and several judges have been trained in Unit 2, as well as the expansion of forms has taken place over the last couple weeks. The plan for Unit 1 is to be able to utilize e-signatures immediately upon Go-Live (Nov. 1).
Following the discussion on E-signatures, Jim reported three municipal courts, Devils Lake, Rolla and Grafton, will be moving onto Odyssey Nov. 1st. Time has been spent reviewing their data and configuration as well as getting them familiar with Odyssey navigation.
Jim then expanded on Units 3 and 4 where there will be 5 municipal courts converting to Odyssey. The week of Nov 29th they will be brought in for a day to expose them to Odyssey and be given some basic user training. Due to the vast differences between district courts and municipal courts, the municipals will receive separate training and this will be finalized at that time as well. The City of Fargo has shown interest in Odyssey and has been directed to Tyler for assistance in converting their data. Currently, they are awaiting training from Tyler on the Intermediary File Layout (IFL) tool which is used to convert their data. Fargo will be included in the Unit 3 and 4 training with hopes they will go-live April 11th. Jim feels this may not happen due to data conversion issues that may take them beyond the April date.
Jim Gienger reported the implementation of web-based payments is in the testing phase. This will be rolled out to Stutsman County to pilot in the next week or two. They will pilot the payment system roughly through mid-December due to the complexity of balancing and deciding whether or not to have separate or single merchant accounts. Stickers are also being placed on the citation envelopes directing people to the means in which they are now able to make payments.
Jim Gienger also stated that there was an issue with Sonant. When paying a ticket through the website, users did not know if the payment had been applied so they were clicking the back button and making the payment again which would result in getting double billed on their credit card. This past Monday Sonant deployed a fix for this which will not allow for multiple payments on one case within a 24 hour period.
Jim reported that the Tyler IVR solution will be available for testing in the November/ December timeframe and will go-live in January, 2011.
Attorney Web Access
Jim Gienger reported that discussions were held with the Operations Oversight group about the process of granting secure public access to attorneys. The decision was made by the group not to allow one generic Secure Public Access user sign-on for an entire law firm. Rather, each individual wanting access to the site would have to obtain a unique User ID and password.
In regard to e-filing training, the decision was made not to require the attorneys themselves to attend training. As long as at least one individual from each firm attends they will be granted access to the secure public site. Larry Zubke stated there have been approximately 50 requests thus far with about 25 firms completing the application process.
Jim reported that Protection and Restraining Order information has been rolled out to CJIS for the Statewide Automated Victim Information Notification (SAVIN) system. Victims can sign up for this and be notified when there are any changes to the case. Currently, the ability to send hearing based data, disposition date and other pertinent information is in the testing phase and should be available by the first of the year.
Jim reported that Odyssey was upgraded from patch level .11 to .19. Previously, we had patch upgrades roughly every other month which became disruptive. This upgrade has been the only upgrade taken since Unit 2 went live with Odyssey. A lot of the enhancements and patching we've asked Tyler to make has slowed down and is reflective in the fact we've only taken one patch level.
Judge Medd suggested an enhancement to Odyssey and the calendaring process. As he mentioned before, the process of being able to drag and drop cases within the calendar to move between sessions would be of great benefit. Justice Sandstrom along with Kristen Wheeler made note of the request.
Jim Gienger then reported that a user group was formed with representatives from each unit, as well as, IT staff. This group is headed up by Chris Iverson. This group meets once a week to discuss disagreements and/or confusion in regard to business practices and configuration changes. This group has been very instrumental in resolving any issues that arise. Jim feels the group has been very successful.
Status of Video Streaming project for the Supreme Courtroom
Justice Sandstrom began this topic by saying there have been a number of steps taken thus far, including looking at several systems, visiting the Public Service Commission, talking to the Health Dept along with the National Guard and receiving some rough numbers from J.A.V.S. The need is to have more than one camera and/or cameras that will zoom in rather than one broad shot. The J.A.V.S. system numbers were larger than what was budgeted for the project. The advantage of this system is that it has sophisticated voice activation capabilities which also cuts down the need to have operators run the system. Penny Miller added that Larry Zubke is in the process of setting up a meeting with AVI Systems who has the audio and digital system in the courtroom already.
2011-2013 Judicial Branch IT Plan
Larry Zubke stated that in the last meeting, the IT budget was approved which allowed Larry to create the IT Plan that was a requirement to be supplied to ITD by August 15th. Larry has submitted it to ITD and is asking for formal approval from the group for the document. Larry indicated that the disaster recovery analysis is going to be an expensive solution. Also a part of the plan is to expand Odyssey which was already known. Larry stated that four county courtrooms have been identified for ITV installations which had been decided several months ago.
Judge Mattson moved to approve the Judicial Branch IT Plan. Rita Fisher seconded the motion and motion carried.
Photo Copier Memories and Confidentiality Concerns
Justice Sandstrom expressed the need to focus on this as the topic is receiving a lot of national attention. The copiers have hard disks in them and confidential documents are being stored and at some point the copiers are being traded in and there is a need to safeguard this information. Larry Zubke agreed this is getting a lot of attention and stated that he belongs to the state's Enterprise Architecture Team, which is made up of his peers in state government. The Enterprise Architecture Team has a study team that is looking at this problem. There has been much discussion and the state surplus has put a moratorium on accepting and reselling these units. The study team has met several times and has started to bring in vendors to present their solution to the problem. Larry stated that if the copy machine is leased it is even more difficult to wipe the hard drive completely without wiping off the intelligence of the unit. The study team's objective is to put together guidance for the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), State Surplus and all other state agencies. Larry indicated that the study team should have final recommendations out by the end of the year.
Larry indicated that it would be beneficial to approach the finance department to see how many units we have and make sure they are on the network correctly. Justice Sandstrom inquired into the ability to wipe the data on a daily basis or however frequent. Larry stated that Kyocera and Canon have additional security software to purchase for $300-$500 which will wipe the data immediately after it is copied. Another solution some are using is to buy extra hard drives when you buy the unit, use one then swap the other when you are ready to get rid of it and physically destroy the one that had been used. Justice Sandstrom agreed that follow-up is needed to see what the court system has in order to consider what our next steps should be.
For the Good of the Order
The meeting was adjourned by Justice Sandstrom. The next meeting is scheduled for December 3, 2010.