Supreme Court, Bismarck
December 7, 2012
Hon. Dale Sandstrom, Supreme Court Justice, Chair
Hon. Doug Mattson, Judge – Northwest Judicial District
Hon. Joel Medd, Judge – Northeast Judicial District
Hon. Frank Racek, Judge – East Central Judicial District
Becky Absey, Clerk of District Court - Grand Forks County
Penny Miller, Clerk of Supreme Court
Sally Holewa, State Court Administrator
Ginger Dangerud, Clerk of District Court – Adams County
Lee Ann Barnhardt, Director of Education & Communication
Donna Wunderlich, District Court Administrator - Unit 3
Hon. William Herauf, Judge – Southwest Judicial District
Hon. Daniel Narum, Judge – Southeast Judicial District
Chris Iverson, Trial Court Manager - Unit 2
Mike Hagburg, Staff Attorney
Ronnie Everrett, Tyler Technologies
Larry Zubke, Director of Technology
Cammie Schock, Business Analyst
The meeting was called to order by Chair Sandstrom.
Approval of Minutes from October 19th, 2012 Meeting
Judge Medd moved to approve the October 19th, 2012 meeting minutes. Judge Mattson seconded the motion and the motion carried.
Odyssey User Group update
Chris Iverson reported the e-filing guide has been published and is available on the File & Serve system for the attorneys. She also said there are some memberships on the user group that are expiring. Justice Sandstrom stated the user group currently does not have term limits specified. The current memberships that are up are Lois Scharnhorst, Justice Sandstrom and Becky Absey.
Sally moved to make the term limits consistent with the other committees. Penny seconded the motion and the motion carried.
Penny moved to reappoint Lois Scharnhorst, Justice Sandstrom and Becky Absey to a 3 year term. Judge Medd seconded the motion and the motion carried.
Update on removing the felony case type header information from public access view Chris reported the issue is related to public search and the initial screen showing felony case types when the case may have been reduced to a misdemeanor or been dismissed. The user group discussed various options including changing the case type, adding a subtype and adding more descriptive case statuses. The group ultimately decided that adding new case statuses to reflect the disposition would be the best practice at this time. Several statuses will be needed as this issue is not unique to felony cases being reduced to misdemeanors. It is uncertain at this point if this can be automated. The clerks would need to manually update the case status if there are no automation options. This is a no cost option that could be implemented immediately.
Justice Sandstrom stated this would be a change moving forward and we would only update the existing cases upon request. Chris will work with members of the user group to develop scenarios where clerks will use the new statuses. Based off the scenarios, Cammie will research automation of the statuses.
Mike Hagburg agreed this would resolve the concerns of the Joint Procedures Committee.
Judge Racek expressed concerns regarding the proper receipt of information from probation on whether or not these cases are eligible for the reduction. He would like to see these notifications become a part of the CJIS information transfer project. Sally Holewa believes the standard to be that if no violations have been reported they are eligible for reduction. She stated it should be the States Attorney’s responsibility to notify the clerk’s office.
Judge Mattson moved to approve the change of case statuses to reflect dismissal or reduction of a charge level. Judge Medd seconded the motion and the motion carried.
Lee Ann questioned when this will be implemented and if we need to do a training session for the clerks. The group agreed on a target date of January 15th. Becky Absey asked how this will affect Session Works. Cammie stated that she doesn’t believe it will have much impact but she will verify that with Mike Sampson.
Burleigh County/Statewide IVR status
Larry reported that IVR was rolled out in Burleigh County on November 7. The first payment came in a week later however, the payment did not process. Larry is still working with Tyler to get the system problems resolved. Ronnie stated that the issue is happening on the post back step and is being further researched. He said he should be able to provide a better update by the end of the day.
Larry explained this to be a “soft” rollout. The public has not been made aware of the option yet. The clerks in the office have been testing it when someone calls in to make a payment.
File and Serve update
Version 3.4 upgrade status
Larry reported we went live November 19th. There were a fair amount of issues however, Tyler kept a phone line open all day on Saturday which aided in the quick resolution of most of the issues. Larry expressed concern on one remaining issue with compression changes to images. As a result, when the images are being opened from Secure Public Access, using Windows XP and the XP viewer, they are appearing as a reverse image. The background is black and the print is white. Larry stated the long-term solution is to move to PDF/A file types. The short-term resolution is to use the same compression tools as we did in File & Serve 2.4. This system change will be implemented next week. Additionally, the existing documents will need to be corrected.
Judge Racek suggested we consider a date for mandatory e-filing for all cases including initiation, with the exception of criminal case initiation of juvenile delinquency and juvenile unruly.
Judge Racek moved to recommend to the Supreme Court mandating e-filing for all cases including case initiation, with the exception of Juvenile Delinquency, Juvenile Unruly and Criminal case initiation, effective June 1st, 2013. Judge Mattson seconded the motion and the motion carried.
Joint Procedure Committee proposed amendments to Administrative Order 16
Mike Hagburg explained the proposed changes effective April 1st, 2013 and asked for suggestions and/or comments. Chris Iverson had sent the changes out to the Odyssey User Group for comments and questions. One question submitted was what the definition of “technical defect” is. Another concern was how the court was going to know when a filing is timely after rejection. Mike stated they could provide additional language to lines 25-28 to indicate that if a document is resubmitted under this provision, and they want to take advantage of tolling, that the filer needs to prominently indicate such on the resubmitted document. The final question Chris received was what to do when there are rejected filings, such as proposed orders, that get emailed by the attorney directly to the judge and signed, which results in the rejected filings never getting resubmitted.
Justice Sandstrom stated another justice had questioned the difference on lines 51-52 where it uses “technical problems” and on line 25 where it uses “technical defects”. Mike Hagburg suggested eliminating the word technical.
Mike relayed a concern in regards to hearings conducted on a very short timeline. If all documents are required to be e-served, with the time that some documents sit in the clerks queue for review, the court may not have the document at the time of the hearing. Larry stated a similar question came up in a meeting where the attorneys were looking for a set time period where the documents need to be reviewed by. Judge Racek stated there are still too many variables at this time to put a set time on document reviewing.
Larry stated a question came up on e-filing wills and other documents of independent legal significance. Justice Sandstrom stated that copies could still be e-filed but should be retained. Judge Racek stated they should be brought to hearings as exhibits if it is something in dispute. Judge Medd agreed. Judge Mattson said he routinely wants to see the originals. The group agreed that this issue does not fall under Administrative Order 16 and should be taken up at a later time.
Justice Sandstrom inquired if File & Serve is capable of sending service prior to the clerk accepting the filed document. Larry believes the system is capable but will verify if it is possible.
Justice Sandstrom said he had significant concerns of the language “Any signature on a document filed electronically is considered that of the person it purports to be for all purposes.” He was concerned, for example, that typed signatures and such on wills or on an affidavit that someone committed a crime themselves would be sufficient. Mike suggested limiting the wording to attorney, party and court personnel.
Justice Sandstrom briefly reviewed Colorado’s rejection reasons within their administrative order for e-filing. Sally questioned whether we should formalize the requirements and reasons for rejections as Colorado did. Larry stated the e-file guide that Chris had mentioned earlier does address some of these issues. Judge Racek thought we should wait for a few months after the mandatory filing date has passed so we can focus on what the problems are.
Mike passed on a question Donna Wunderlich had. She was wondering if a person can decide not to open a document they were served via email thus avoiding service. Justice Sandstrom believed it to act similar to mailed paper documents in the way that you cannot refuse service by not opening the mail. Chris mentioned this may be addressed in lines 48 & 49. Justice Sandstrom agreed.
Judge Medd moved to support the changes with the above modifications/clarifications as discussed by the committee. Penny seconded the motion and the motion carried.
Next year’s meeting schedule
Justice Sandstrom inquired if the group would like to continue meeting every other month or if we should go back to meeting quarterly. The group agreed to continue as is for now. Proposed meeting dates will be sent out for review.
For the Good of the Order
There are several members of the group whose terms are up for this committee. The Court had waived term limits during the period of implementation of Odyssey. Justice Sandstrom will ask the Chief if we have met the period of implementation.
The meeting was adjourned by Justice Sandstrom.