Front Conference Room
Supreme Court, Bismarck
October 16, 2009
Dale Sandstrom, Supreme Court Justice, Committee Chair
Penny Miller, Clerk of Supreme Court
Rita Fischer, Deputy Clerk of District Court
Sally Holewa, State Court Administrator
Doug Mattson, District Judge
Joel Medd, District Judge
Frank Racek, District Judge
Donna Wunderlich, District Court Administrator
William Herauf, District Judge
Daniel Narum, District Judge
Becky Absey, Clerk of District Court
Lee Ann Barnhardt, Director of Education & Communication
Brandi Fagerland, ITD Project Oversight Manager
Jim Gienger, Project Manager for UCIS Replacement Project
Rod Olson, District Court Administrator and member of the Operations Oversight Group
Allan Schmalenberger, District Judge
Chris Iverson, Clerk of District Court
Larry Zubke, Director of Technology
The meeting was called to order by Chair Sandstrom.
Approval of Minutes
Judge William Herauf moved to approve the August 14, 2009 meeting minutes and Donna Wunderlich seconded the motion and the motion carried.
Update on the Odyssey Go Live status in Cass and Traill Counties
Rod Olson began by saying they have been using the system since Saturday, October 10. There have been some issues but they have been able to operate and function with the system. They are scanning the documents into the system and working from the documents.
Jim Gienger reiterated that the "go-live" was successful; however there are some issues that still need to be resolved including:
Credit Card Processing - The Credit Card Payment Process is not up and running. The component that provides the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) and the Interactive Web Response (IWR) for traffic tickets is through the vendor Sonant. Sonant's hardware and software are up and running and almost ready to go live with the exception of being able to process the credit card transactions through the bank. We are working with Elavon, the credit card transaction processing company, which is a subsidiary of US Bank, to set up new merchant accounts. There have been some difficulties in getting the Merchant Accounts. Jim has been assured that by the end of this month it will be up and running.
The other issue is we need to accept credit card payments for more than just traffic cases and Odyssey does not have the ability to interface directly with the credit card transaction processing vendors. The interim solution was to purchase credit card swipe machines, which have been ordered and promised by next week. Sally Holewa reaffirmed that the goal is still to be able to call in credit card payments or go through the website. Sally also explained that Odyssey's financial component does accept credit card transactions types, but at this time cannot process the credit card payment through the bank. Jim added that Tyler's plan is to enhance their core product to be able to process credit card payments with their software. According to Jim's understanding, Tyler would design the software to handle all transactions except for the Interactive Voice Response (IVR). Jim felt that Sonant will be up and running by November 1st.
In response to a question from Justice Sandstrom regarding the fees for this change, Jim Gienger explained that Tyler would develop their front-end component to interface with a transaction processor of our choice. Tyler has not given a time-frame for this component or its estimated cost.
Protection Orders - The Protection Order process in UCIS, is quite elaborate and was not set up in Odyssey. The entire process is difficult to duplicate in Odyssey. We are building that integration with some parts being in Odyssey and the rest in an external system. This is not ready yet to deploy but will be ready in the mid-November timeframe. So in the meantime we are using both UCIS and Odyssey to collect all of the information. The process seems to be working well.
Data Conversion Clean Up - A lot of time has been spent on data conversion cleanup since some of the information UCIS passed to Odyssey was not formatted correctly. Jim Gienger gave the committee some examples that were resolved. Additionally, there were approximately 800 payment plans that were entered manually into Odyssey. During the conversion, there were 307,844 cases successfully converted to Odyssey. There were 34 cases that did not convert into Odyssey and are being keyed into the system manually. These cases are being analyzed to identify the specific reasons they did not convert properly. There were over a million party records, 90,000 warrants, 703,000 hearings, and 630,000 charges of data converted. Canadian zip codes are currently not being accepted on the system, so Tyler is working on correcting that. Judgment searches are also not showing vacated or bankrupt statuses. Sally Holewa informed the committee that the homepage of the website indicates it is still under construction and users should verify judgment information with the clerks. There was discussion on the ability to search both the old website and the new website to be able to assist with reviewing all data. Automatic interest calculation is also being turned off by Tyler. Several other data elements such as height, weight, race and date-of-birth were also removed from the public search view. Year of birth will be added back after Tyler modifies the public search application.
Concerning the use of the new system going forward, Judge Racek brought to the group's attention, four basic themes that were to be adhered to when going onto the new system.
1) To go paperless
2) Try to eliminate as many human decisions as possible
3) We were not going to duplicate data
4) Try not to do or take on any new tasks that we were not already doing to make this system work.
Judge Racek gave a case example where the clerk's made a second version of the documents and redacted areas to comply with Rule 3.4. In this example, the data that is being redacted is not required by the courts so Judge Racek's point was that we should eliminate this data from coming into the courts where possible, which will reduce the number of times that a second copy is required for redaction purposes, thus eliminating extra work and data. Judge Racek requested that these types of issues be brought up to the Administration so they can be re-engineered if necessary and handled in a uniform way statewide by way of new business practices. Judge Racek also mentioned that the security of these images needs to be handled in a uniform manner statewide so that the integrity of these documents is maintained. Judge Racek discussed creating a Violation Form that would be used to re-engineer outdated business practices where possible. Some business practice changes will be brought to the attention of the Operation Oversight Group when needed. In some cases it would mean changing the forms to eliminate unnecessary data. Cass County will not violate any state or federal laws or court rulings when re-engineering their practices.
Justice Sandstrom agreed that consistency needs to be addressed along with the review of the whole privacy issue. He will follow up on this and asked that Cass County use caution when going forward.
Penny Miller informed the committee that based on the comments that the Court received on the previous proposal for amendments on 3.4 and AR41, the court sent back the amendments to the Joint Procedure Committee. Last week another petition was filed in her office from the Joint Procedure Committee and the Court will have its first look at it next week.
Sally Holewa agreed that the system must be used appropriately and consistently, but questioned the process on how they were doing the redaction. She also expressed her concern with changing the Indigent Defense Application form as the form was created by the Indigent Defense Commission. She questioned the court's authority to change the document without the permission of the Indigent Defense. Donna Wunderlich stated that the Commission is looking at changing this form.
Sally Holewa raised a question as to how the court could refuse to accept a document that came in as an original with an accompanying redacted copy when the court rule specifically allow for filing in that manner and the choice to file in that way or to file an original with all protected data listed on a separate reference sheet is specifically given to the filing party.
Judge Racek affirmed that the clerks were using the correct process of redaction but it is very time consuming and this is one of the business practices that we need the Court to address as well as the information that is not needed on the system.
Justice Sandstrom said this item should be placed on the Operations Oversight Group's agenda for their next meeting.
Jim Gienger reported on the variance report that has been submitted. The budget for the project is $8.3 million and to-date a little over $2.6 million has been spent, which is 14% under budget. The variance report also shows that we are 3% over on the schedule. This is primarily due to Sonant's credit card process and the Protection Order system which are still works in progress.
Brandi Fagerland said she was comfortable with what is being done and what has been accomplished to date.
Chris Iverson reported that the clerk staff likes the system and she has not heard anything negative about the system. Everyone is working hard and the process seems to be going well.
Larry Zubke reported that the network and servers are handling the Odyssey system well.
Sally Holewa commented on how comfortable Traill County was with the system and that this was important as most of our counties are more like Traill County than Cass County.
Judge Schmalenberger commented on the ease of the system, and the hard work and the positive attitude of all involved in bringing it to fruition. He also suggested that Rod Olson and Judge Racek put a memo together regarding the procedure and policy problems, along with any temporary or permanent solutions for the meeting next Friday. He suggested that the memo also go to Penny so that the Court is aware of the problems created by Rule 3.4 in Odyssey.
Sally Holewa inquired if it would be better to have the dual monitoring systems set up prior to going to Odyssey. Rod Olson reported that there was not enough space to have a dual monitor system set up on some of the benches. He wrote up an instruction sheet where the Judge can bring up the Calendar on the Citrix box that is installed on their bench. They then have the availability to click on the case they want to search on the Calendar. Since it is all mouse driven, after they enter their password they never have to touch the keyboard again.
Jim Gienger reported that in addition to training the Supreme Court staff, there will be training for the accounting staff next Tuesday and Wednesday. The next step for the financial portion of the system are to work through our first financial month-end coming up at the end of the month. E-filing through WizNet is to be delivered the first part of January. After that, a "lessons learned" document will be put together to prepare for the next go-live phase.
The court has signed a contract to purchase the Courtroom Module for Clerks. Implementation will be tied to either the beginning of Phase II which is the second quarter of next year or Phase III which is in the 3rd or 4th quarter of next year.
Justice Sandstrom and Judge Mattson commented positively on the demo they saw of the Judge's Module that is at the "alpha" stage now, with the only concern being that some monitors may be too large to have on many of the courtroom benches.
Discuss the SCJD Judges' Request to Install Wireless Internet Access in the Burleigh County Courthouse
Larry Zubke read the August 14th letter from Judge Gail Haggerty requesting Wireless Internet Access for the Burleigh County Courthouse.
Sally Holewa informed the committee that one of the reasons the request was brought to the committee is that after the pilot was done in the Jamestown and New Rockford courtrooms, the decision of this group was to pull all funds for any new installations. At this point there are no funds for this request.
Judge Mattson said that this is also an issue in Ward County. Based on the decision of this group the Ward County States Attorney is going to address this with the Ward County Commission. Judge Mattson felt it would be good to know the criteria if we would go ahead with this, due to the interest in Ward County.
Judge Racek said that their Administrator is very interested in putting it in Cass County also. They had a bid to put it in Cass County and thought the bid was approximately $2,200.00. Judge Racek stated that Odyssey will also be more usable with wireless connections.
Further discussion addressed the questions of:
--Who will benefit from wireless access?
--Should it be based on the size of the county or some other factor?
--Would it be available in just the courtrooms or outside of the courtrooms as well?
--Where will the funding come from?
--Will lawyers be able to call up Odyssey cases they are involved in at the Courthouse?
--If the decision is made to go forward, what criteria will be established to determine the order in which the projects are funded?
--After the largest courts are installed, is there going to be a priority list for future installs?
--Should the install for the largest courts follow the Odyssey installation timetable or is there a reason to deviate from that timetable?
Judge Mattson moved to authorize the installation of Wireless Internet Access in courtrooms and court facilities subject to the availability of funds, with the priority for higher volume courthouses. Judge William Herauf seconded the motion. The motion carried.
Discuss the Data Communication Issues Being Experienced in Ramsey and Bottineau Counties as Well as Potential Solutions and Costs
Sally Holewa reported that many of the smaller counties are continually running out of network bandwidth. There is a continual struggle with the county as to who gets the bandwidth and who needs to pay for extra lines when they are needed. In Stark County we did have to go out on our own and pay for a dedicated court line.
Larry Zubke gave a brief description of the technology that is involved and the problems that occur. The financial cost difference per month is $650.00 for a shared line versus $1,050.00 for a dedicated line. The discussion was for informational purposes only and no decision is required by the Committee.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 10:45 a.m.
The next meeting is scheduled for 9:15 a.m. on December 18, 2009, in the Front Conference Room of the Supreme Court.