Hon. Dale Sandstrom, Supreme Court Justice, Chair
Hon. Daniel Narum, Judge - Southeast Judicial District
Hon. Doug Mattson, Judge - Northwest Judicial District
Hon. William Herauf, Judge - Southwest Judicial District
Hon. Joel Medd, Judge - Northeast Judicial District
Rita Fischer, Deputy Clerk of Court - McKenzie County
Penny Miller, Clerk of Supreme Court
Becky Absey, Clerk of District Court - Grand Forks County
Donna Wunderlich, District Court Administrator - Unit 3
Hon. Frank Racek, Judge - East Central Judicial District
Sally Holewa, State Court Administrator
Lee Ann Barnhardt, Director of Education & Communication
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
Barb Hill, Clerk of District Court - Stutsman County
Deb Simenson, Clerk of District Court - Burleigh County
Susan Hoffer, Clerk of District Court - Ward County
Brandi Fagerland, ITD Project Oversight Manager
Kristen Wheeler, Tyler Technologies
Jack McDonald, Judges Association
Larry Zubke, Director of Technology
Cammie Schock, Technology Coordinator
The meeting was called to order by Chair Sandstrom.
News Media Concerns
Jack McDonald brought to the committee's attention several concerns of the news media. Jack stated most of the concerns were coming from Grand Forks and Cass County since the rollout of Odyssey. The first concern Jack relayed was what they felt are inefficiencies with the court calendar on the public site. On the old site you are able to click on the county and view everything for that day for all judges. On the new system, you can view only the information for one judicial officer at a time. Justice Sandstrom explained that this issue is being addressed. This solution coming will give the user the option to select as many judicial officers as needed at one time, as well as, a date range. Jim Gienger stated the solution will be available sometime in February, however, Kristen Wheeler explained that we would not be able to update our site until June due to the impact it would have on conversion for Units 3 and 4 in April. Penny Miller inquired into the possibility of generating a calendar report from Odyssey that could be emailed. Rod Olson stated that we could schedule a report to run and that each newspaper should contact the clerk with information in regard to how often they want to receive the information and for what date range.
Secondly, Jack McDonald stated he received a complaint that the new docket version did not give as much information as the old version; however, Jack felt the new version is sufficient. Justice Sandstrom explained that some clerks may not be filling out the description of the filing. Kristen Wheeler stated she would make note to have this emphasized during training.
Jack stated he has received calls from the Editor's of both the Bismarck Tribune and Fargo Forum stating the attorneys are given access to documents online and asking why this option is not given to the general public. Justice Sandstrom explained the records are available on a public terminal located at each courthouse. He also stated he would continue to look at the issue.
Lastly, Jack McDonald stated there is confusion as to the designated county numbers. Justice Sandstrom agreed there should be a table made available. Jim Gienger will follow up.
Status of Phase 3
Jim Gienger reported that the go-live date for Phase 3 was October 30th. Many clerks worked through the weekend and Monday went off without a hitch. Teams of people were scattered throughout the geography including individuals from Unit 2. The helpdesk fielded 150 support calls the second week, up from the normal 50, but this number has since declined. The Phase 3 implementation was very successful. It was the cleanest data conversion to date, and included 375,000 cases, 1.2 million parties, over 1 million financial transactions, nearly 600,000 hearings (including past and future), and 90,000 warrants (including active and inactive).
Jim also stated Session Works was successfully deployed in Grand Forks County and is being used in all 5 criminal courtrooms. Becky Absey reported that they began using Session Works day one in the courtroom and she is proud of how far it has come. They had completed most of the configuration and user manual prior to go-live. The clerks are continuing to cross-train. Jim reported that he continues to work with the Operations Oversight Group to develop a rollout plan for Session Works.
Jim continued by saying reports is an area of concern for Unit 1. They are unsure of which reports they should be running, what parameters they should be using and how often they should be scheduling them. Jim stated there continues to be follow-up discussions and training related to this issue.
Jim reported that month-end training is scheduled for next week. District court clerks will be attending 1-day sessions Monday thru Thursday to perform the actual month-end process and the training for municipal clerks will be held on Friday.
Judge Medd reported the clerks and Tyler staff worked very hard during the week of go-live. Judge Jahnke seemed to experience a few glitches but they have since been worked out. Judge Medd explained they are used to receiving paper files and it now seems more cumbersome to review the electronic version. Several issues that came up were defaults that needed to be set, there were a few problems with forms and he also thought printing tends to be slower. He stated the judges and clerks are working through the glitches together and everything seems to be going well. Judge Medd felt receiving training on how to do business from the bench would have been more beneficial then on how to search for cases. Justice Sandstrom stated mock court sessions will be included for the next phase of training.
Jim Gienger finished the discussion on Phase 3 by reporting the last activity of documenting the lessons learned will be completed within the next 2-3 weeks, in addition to, working on web payments, credit card processing and e-filing.
Jim then moved on to discuss Phase 4. SME (Subject Matter Expert) training was the week of Nov. 15th. There are a total of 14 SME's. They were all given access to the QA (Quality Assurance) site. They had their first webinar yesterday to discuss judge rotation and assignments. Their next webinar will be held in a couple weeks to discuss calendaring. Additional webinars have been scheduled over the next few months. Jim also stated Odyssey access will be given to additional clerks who have an SME available to support them.
Jim reported the first data push will be January 14th. The clerks will spend 3-4 days the following week reviewing the data. Jim also stated they continue to finalize the training dates and data conversion, as well as, the ongoing effort of reviewing forms.
Jim Gienger reported that as of the end of October the project is 0.4% ahead of schedule and 10.2% under budget. Jim attributes part of being below budget to the $600,000 risk management budget that we have not had to tap into, nor does Jim anticipate we will need to tap it. Other reasons he stated were that as of yet we have not made the final e-filing payment and we do not anticipate using the entire travel budget. Jim projected the $8.3 million project to come in at 6-7% under budget.
Jim Gienger reported that e-filing continues to grow. Unit 2 has received 3,000 e-filings thus far. The initial plan was to expand e-filing to Unit 1 on December 1st but that did not happen. The clerks and attorneys had been trained and the user ids were set up, however the Unit 1 counties were not listed on the attorney's side so they could not be selected. Tyler was able to get the counties loaded and was in the middle of testing when there was a power outage at their Delray, Florida server center. As a result they experienced hardware issues and had to replace the hardware and rebuild necessary configuration. Tyler is currently testing and it is expected that e-filing will be available by Monday. The outage issue is also impacting Unit 2. Attorneys are still able to e-file but when the clerk accepts the filing it does not transfer to Odyssey.
Donna Wunderlich inquired into the status of attorney's not wanting to participate in e-filing. Jim Gienger reported that the Mackoff firm is e-filing. He also stated that Rodenburg law firm has contacted their software vendor to look into the possibility of integration between the two systems. Justice Sandstrom stated other states are moving in the direction of e-filing and these software companies will need to start making modifications.
Jim Gienger reported that state attorney training sessions continue to be held on Fridays. He also reported the roadmap, which shows future product enhancements, has been delivered by Tyler. We have asked Tyler Technology to significantly enhance the program for us. Jim stated he will be communicating the information received in the next several days. Rod then inquired into the possibility of a broadcast message to attorneys notifying them of system outages. Jim responded, saying that is on the roadmap but for situations like this, it would not help because the system is down and wouldn't be able to send out a message to the users. Penny Miller suggested putting a notice on our website. The group agreed that would be a good solution.
Jim Gienger reported that Unit 1 was successfully able to utilize e-signatures starting day one. Judge Medd inquired about the timeline for making additional documents e-signature capable. Jim Gienger stated that with Odyssey 11 coming in the January-February timeframe, additional functionality will be available. Kristine Wheeler will follow up with a review of the additional functionality. It was also reported that Cammie Schock has delivered several training sessions for Unit 2 judges.
Following the E-signature discussion, Jim reported that along with Unit 1, three municipal courts were successfully moved onto Odyssey Nov. 1st. There will be 6 municipals added with Phase 4, which will also include the Fargo municipal court.
Jim Gienger reported we are currently piloting Tyler's web payment solution in Stutsman County. Jody Bachmeier is testing and fine tuning the reconciliation process. There is a slight issue with reports but otherwise it is going well. Law Enforcement is placing stickers on the citation envelopes to make the public aware of their options for payment.
Jim went on to report that Jody Bachmeier is leading the effort and working with each location individually in regard to phone payments via the virtual terminal.
Attorney Web Access
Jim Gienger reported that there was an outage with Secure Public Access. If you were accessing it from the state network it worked fine however externally there were issues. This along with several other issues reported have since been resolved.
Brandi Fagerland stated ITD produces a quarterly report that was distributed last week. Within the report was a success story about the Phase 3 roll-out of our project. It also mentioned the benefit of documenting lessons learned. Brandi went on to say that the scope of her project is the initial rollout. Once the project is in maintenance mode, expected at the end of the biennium, it is considered complete.
Rod Olson commented on the Monday morning outage of Odyssey. He inquired on the possibility of having an email sent out in those situations. Jim stated that a broadcast functionality is coming with Odyssey 11; however it wouldn't have helped in this situation. The group agreed that emails should be sent in the event of a system outage.
Court Technology Committee members' term expiration on December 31, 2010
Justice Sandstrom informed the committee that the terms of Rita Fischer, Sally Holewa, Judge Doug Mattson and Judge Dan Narum terms are slated to expire on December 31st. He stated they would be reappointed to a full term, to see out the Odyssey project, unless otherwise notified.
For the Good of the Order
The meeting was adjourned by Justice Sandstrom. The next meeting is scheduled for February 4, 2011.