Hon. Dale Sandstrom, Supreme Court Justice, Chair
Hon. Doug Mattson, Judge – Northwest Judicial District
Hon. Frank Racek, Judge – East Central Judicial District
Hon. William Herauf, Judge – Southwest Judicial District
Hon. Daniel Narum, Judge – Southeast Judicial District
Becky Absey, Clerk of District Court - Grand Forks County
Penny Miller, Clerk of Supreme Court
Sally Holewa, State Court Administrator
Donna Wunderlich, District Court Administrator - Unit 3
Hon. Joel Medd, Judge – Northeast Judicial District
Ginger Dangerud, Clerk of District Court – Adams County
Lee Ann Barnhardt, Director of Education & Communication
Mike Hagburg, Staff Attorney
Samantha Martin, Tyler Technologies
Larry Zubke, Director of Technology
Cammie Schock, Business Analyst
The meeting was called to order by Chair Sandstrom.
Approval of Minutes from December 7th, 2012 Meeting
Judge Narum moved to approve the December 7th, 2012 meeting minutes. Judge Herauf seconded the motion and the motion carried.
Odyssey User Group update
Larry Zubke reported on behalf of Chris Iverson. The User Group continues to meet twice per month via GoTo Meeting to discuss issues that are raised by users, committees, or passed down from the Court Technology Committee. An issue the group has spent a considerable amount of time on recently was changing the information displayed on the initial screen when opening a case via public access to more accurately reflect the disposition. A new procedure to include additional more descriptive case statuses, voted on at the last Court Technology Meeting, was implemented in mid-January.
The group has recently completed several projects including updating the change of venue process, reducing duplication in Small Claims case events and additions to the juvenile placement dropdowns. The group continues to work on projects such as defining a process for transferring juvenile cases, reviewing case types, updating procedures and creating a process to identify overdue/unsatisfied monetary obligations and conditions.
Chris continues to post information to the User Group SharePoint site and encourages users to review that site for information. Recently, questions have been posted to garner ideas from users to identify a better way to identify speedy trial requests but that has met with very limited success.
Update on removing the felony case type header information from public access
In regards the update received by the Odyssey User Group, Justice Sandstrom requested Mike Hagburg send a letter to the Court, Joint Procedure Committee as well as the specific attorneys who raised the issue.
Burleigh County/Statewide IVR status
Larry Zubke reported after a number of attempts we were finally able to successfully process a payment through IVR on January 24th. Larry made several additional requests of Tyler Technologies. In particular, to update the transaction reporting information to include case identifying information in the event there is a failure in posting the transaction. Tyler Technologies continues to work on this request. Samantha Martin stated that if a payment does not post to Odyssey it should void the transaction and we should never receive a payment unless it is actually posted to the case.
2012 Release Testing
Larry reported Odyssey release 2012.0.28 was installed in December into a testing environment but unfortunately we immediately found issues that prevented us from taking this version. We then took 2012.0.34 which fixed the previous issue but introduced a new issue in which cases could not be created. We are now waiting on 2012.0.36 to be installed and are committed to get the new release into production as quickly as possible. Larry explained the process and complexity of testing and stated it takes at least 5-6 weeks from the time we receive the release in a test environment to the time we are able to put it into production, provided we don’t find any major issues.
Judge Racek questioned where we are at with electronically signing outside documents submitted to the court. Cammie Schock stated that when we are able to take 2012 into production there shouldn’t be an issue with moving forward with this feature. She stated there will be some business processes that will need to be thought out and should be taken to the user group to decide.
Ledger Card Testing Status
Larry reported we will be using a feature called Enterprise Custom Reporting for the ledger card report. Currently, Odyssey Production only allows these reports to run for 60 seconds. Due to the size of this specific report, 60 seconds is not long enough. When we install the 2012 release, this issue will be resolved. There are also a couple other minor issues Jeff is working through but Larry stated we should be able to utilize the report once we have the new Odyssey release in production.
File and Serve update
Current Status of New Version 3.4
Larry reported Tyler Technologies made a change to their conversion tool so documents viewed on XP machines would no longer appear as a reverse image, black background with white print. This change was not retroactive and there is 5 weeks’ worth of images that need to be updated. Tyler has committed to correct those within 2 weeks. The automatic judge assignment will be updated in our test environment tonight for Grand Forks County, if that is successful we will then put it into production. This will update the system so the appropriate case types no longer automatically assign a judge at case initiation.
Becky Absey stated the Grand Forks sheriff’s department is now using File & Serve. Donna questioned whether or not the judges were complaining about the documents all coming in as service documents. Becky stated she has not received any complaints thus far. Justice Sandstrom stated there was a statewide sheriff’s meeting in Bismarck where Larry and Tony gave a demonstration of File & Serve. Becky stated the current process mirrors the civil process of filing these documents as service documents. Cammie stated that there are events already in Odyssey, however, prior to making these available in File & Serve the process needs to be defined as to what the clerks will do in the system once they are received electronically. This issue is being discussed within the user group.
Tyler discontinuing support for all incoming file formats except PDF
Larry had distributed a letter from Jamie Gillespie, Tyler Technologies, explaining that Tyler would like to change File & Serve to only support PDF formats. Larry asked for metrics on how many documents this would affect. In the last 2 years, it affects about 2% of the documents filed. The 2% is comprised of TIF, WPD, DOC, DOCX and TXT. Tyler Technologies has received notification that Microsoft wants $5/user/month since each document is using Word for conversion purposes which is the reason for dropping support on everything but PDF. Mike Hagburg stated the rule would need to be changed since it currently lists the formats accepted. Justice Sandstrom stated he is reluctant to change the rule especially with the mandatory filing date in the near future, as well as, having an outdated rule in the latest printed edition of rules. Samantha stated that they are already out of compliance and this is an urgent matter. She stated there may also be another option that they will be able to provide us more detail by the end of the day.
Administrative Order 16 – ND Rule of Court 3.5
Larry explained an email received by Ari Johnson, Deputy State’s Attorney for McKenzie County and private practice attorney. Ari is concerned on how the documents are being served. He states that he receives dozens of documents served as part of his State’s Attorney duties. He has a group email address set up which allows his staff to handle these items. His concern is that the civil documents within his private practice are being sent to this same email address but instead should be coming directly to the individual attorney. He is questioning how to get these separated and is proposing a change to Administrative Order 16 which would require the responsibility of using the appropriate email address to be on the filer. After some discussion, the group agreed to leave it as is. Similar to the PDF discussion, there is reluctance to change the rule so closely to the mandatory e-filing date and the newly printed rule book being incorrect. It was discussed that an additional list could be created on ndcourts.gov to allow for State’s Attorney email addresses in which Mike Hagburg, Penny Miller and Sally Holewa will act on.
Mike Hagburg commented on the changes within Rule 3.5 that became effective January 15th, 2013. Changes briefly commented included expanding the number of types of paper documents that could be filed, the June 1st date of mandatory e-filing for case initiation of all civil non-juvenile cases, allow any officer of the court to apply an e-signature and also allow documents that are rejected to have the time tolled from the time of submission to the time the rejection email is generated by the Odyssey system. Mike stated there was a Joint Procedure Committee meeting last week and received notice that Rule 3.5 is not consistent with Rule 5. As a result, the Joint Procedure Committee made amendments to Rule 5 that the court has tentatively approved which will bring Rule 5 in conformity with Rule 3.5.
Larry stated there hasn’t been much increase in e-filing activity in the past couple of months. He said there are special training classes set up for sheriff’s offices, as well as, the continued training sessions for attorneys.
Donna Wunderlich stated there is some concern among the sheriff’s offices on obtaining the appropriate equipment needed for e-filing. She stated that Tony in IT is working on finding the most inexpensive scanner/copier/printer that will fit their needs. Penny questioned whether or not other unit administrators are communicating with their sheriff’s offices as well. Sally believes that many of these offices already have the equipment necessary. Judge Mattson agreed that many already have electronic records. Judge Narum was concerned that sheriff’s offices in his unit may not be aware of this because he would expect to have received feedback and he has not. Sally stated she would follow up with a letter to these offices once training has been made available.
Justice Sandstrom questioned the status of the electronic filing portal for self represented litigants. Samantha believes it will be on the same platform as File & Serve but has not heard of any dates for when it will be ready for beta testing but she expects to hear something in the next few months.
In a previous meeting, the question had been raised on whether the email notification sent for service could be sent at the time the filer submits the filing. The service notification would no longer be dependent on when the clerk accepts the filing in the event of a delayed acceptance. Larry reported it is possible to update the system in this manner. If the clerk accepts the filing, there are no other emails sent to the service contacts. If the clerk rejects the filing, the service contacts receive a second email notification to let them know that the Courts rejected the service filing and that they should disregard that particular service notice.
Judge Mattson moved to update File & Serve to send the service notification at the time of filer submission. Judge Narum seconded the motion and the motion carried.
For the Good of the Order
The meeting was adjourned by Justice Sandstrom. The next meeting is scheduled for April 5th 2013.