Hon. Dale Sandstrom, Supreme Court Justice, Chair
Hon. William Herauf, Judge - Southwest Judicial District
Hon. Joel Medd, Judge - Northeast Judicial District
Hon. Frank Racek, Judge - East Central Judicial District
Sally Holewa, State Court Administrator
Lee Ann Barnhardt, Director of Education & Communication
Rita Fischer, Deputy Clerk of Court - McKenzie County
Donna Wunderlich, District Court Administrator - Unit 3
Hon. Daniel Narum, Judge - Southeast Judicial District
Hon. Doug Mattson, Judge - Northwest Judicial District
Penny Miller, Clerk of Supreme Court
Becky Absey, Clerk of District Court - Grand Forks County
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
Dennis Herbeck, District Court Administrator - Unit 1
Deb Simenson, Clerk of District Court - Burleigh County
Susan Hoffer, Clerk of District Court - Ward County
Brandi Fagerland, ITD Project Oversight Manager
Wanda Knutson, Clerk of District Court - Mercer County
Don Wolf, Director of Finance
Kristen Wheeler, Tyler Technology
Larry Zubke, Director of Technology
Cammie Schock, Technology Coordinator
The meeting was called to order by Chair Sandstrom.
Approval of Minutes from December 3, 2010 Meeting
Minutes will be amended to correct the e-signature capability timeline. Although, Odyssey is being upgraded to version 11 in the January-February timeframe, additional document capability will not be available until the third quarter of 2011.
Donna Wunderlich moved to amend and approve the December 3, 2010 meeting minutes. Sally Holewa seconded the motion and the motion carried.
Status of Phase 4
Jim reported the status is as of the end of December as submitted to the ITD Large Project Oversight. Jim indicated that since December, quite a bit of work has been accomplished. SME's have been trained; numerous conference calls on configuration and data reviews have been held. Approximately 22 issues have been documented in the data reviews, most of which were anticipated and nothing significant. The preliminary one-day basics training is nearly complete for clerks and deputy clerks.
Jim continued by saying Larry has ordered most of the hardware and much has been deployed including replacement pc's, citrix boxes, printers and scanners. The March-April training has been finalized, as well as, month-end training the first week of May. Jim will be sending updated schedules today. Also nearly complete are the go-live plans. Contingency ideas have been discussed but not yet documented. Worst case scenario would be to bring in additional Tyler support in case court staff cannot be on-site due to flooding in the eastern half of the state.
Jim Gienger stated in addition to phase 4, there are ongoing activities in Units 1 and 2. They have been testing the new 2011 Odyssey release which will be available Monday morning.
Jim Gienger reported as of the end of December the project falls right at 0.0% on schedule and 13.2% under budget. The budget percentage is slightly skewed due to several payments that were anticipated in December but did not occur until January. Jim predicts once those payments occur we will be at 6% under budget.
Jim Gienger stated e-filing continues to expand to state agencies and private attorneys. Case types and documents have been expanded as well. Tyler recently moved the servers to Dallas, Texas and has proven to provide better performance and redundancy. The server move will now allow us to move to Tyler's mainstream product line. We will be testing the new 2.4 release within the next couple of weeks. Tyler is also working on the 3.0 release and that will be available to us this summer. In response to a question, Jim Gienger stated that we are not charged for taking new releases however, what may cost us money is if we need professional services from Tyler to implement or customize features of the release. Tyler has delivered a roadmap that contains significant changes to the product.
Justice Sandstrom inquired on the timeframe for initial filings into criminal cases. Jim stated that is one of the functionalities we will be testing with the release of 2.4 coming later this month. However, we may not have the capability until release 3.0. Judge Racek brought to the committee's attention the sensitivity of warrants getting to the state's attorney and sheriff's office when we have the ability to submit initial filings into criminal cases.
Jim Gienger reported that we continue to identify more forms for Units 1 and 2 and are currently capturing all of the signatures for Units 3 and 4. Tyler continues to work on plans to expand E-signatures. Jim stated high on Tyler's priority list is to add e-signature capabilities to File and Serve and they hope to have this functionality available somewhere between July and September.
Jim went on to report that we have currently brought 7 municipal courts onto Odyssey and have 8 to go. At the beginning of the project, the original plan was to convert 10 municipals; however, more have shown interest. Included in the 8 municipals remaining is Fargo, which is currently moving on a different time line for several reasons, one being the conversion of data from a different system. The goal is to have Fargo live on Odyssey by the end of June.
Web Payments/Phone Payments
Jim moved on to explain that web and phone payments are currently a part of Tyler's e-payments solution. Jim stated that web payments give the public the ability to pay for traffic tickets on the internet and is currently live in Cass, Barnes and Stutsman counties. Phone payments, or IVR (Interactive Voice Response), gives the ability to call into an automated phone line and through a series of menus the defendant can make a payment. Phone payments are currently live in Cass County only. The current vendor for this is Sonant. We will be moving to Tyler's phone payment solution in the June timeframe for Cass County and from there it will be rolled out to the rest of the state.
Attorney Web Access
Jim Gienger reported private attorneys cannot gain secure public access unless they sign up for e-filing and receive training. Larry Zubke reported that 84 law offices have been trained thus far, 193 attorneys have signed up as of yesterday and 292 state employees use secure public access such as State's Attorneys and Dept. of Corrections.
Enhanced Maintenance Proposal
Jim Gienger mentioned that the amount of free Tyler support will diminish substantially when we transition from implementation mode to maintenance mode in July. Tyler's initial proposal did not address this issue. Tyler responded by delivering an Enhanced Maintenance proposal which includes 24/7 support, application and technical support, and a Support Account Manager (SAM) to coordinate and escalate issues. Their role would also include strategic and onsite planning, coordinate release upgrades, assist in backup recovery planning and be the gate keeper of resources at Tyler, as well as, be the primary contact.
Jim Gienger stated that currently, we have budgeted for 700 hours of professional services for the next biennium. Within the maintenance agreement, Tyler would be giving back $30,000 worth of professional services per year. The total cost of the Enterprise Support would be roughly an additional $30,000 per year. Jim's recommendation is to sign up for the support.
Larry Zubke stated the current maintenance contract has limitations. He also stated having a SAM would be a huge help in getting us through the next 2 years which will be a pivotal time for everyone on the new system. Larry also recommended accepting the proposal. Sally Holewa agreed and stated the planning piece with the Account Manager is critical as we would not have the mechanism to work with Tyler on adding to their road map without being charged. Brandi Fagerland also agreed that the next two years will be critical and challenging and based on what she has heard the new maintenance plan would be well worth it.
Sally Holewa moved to recommend the Enhanced Maintenance Proposal. Judge Racek seconded the motion and the motion carried.
Dismissed criminal cases and the manner in which they are displayed on the website
Justice Sandstrom stated the Joint Procedure Committee expressed concern in regard to the public website and the complexity of finding out whether charges have been dismissed. Justice Sandstrom explained the website shows the offense but does not immediately show the disposition. The Joint Procedure Committee would like the Court Technology Committee to examine possible ways to improve the display of records. Jim Gienger further explained the search results of the case initially shows the citation number, defendants name, date of birth, filed date, location, judicial officer, case type and status, charge, and what the case was initiated as such as felony, misdemeanor and so forth. He stated the case number shown is a hyperlink that will take you further into the case to view the disposition information.
The group discussed several possibilities such as highlighting the disposition, adding a case status of dismissed rather than open or closed, as well as, adding a general disclaimer. The group decided this issue should be taken to the Operation Oversight Committee for further discussion.
Destruction of documents
Justice Sandstrom stated there were concerns of the quality of scanned documents and not having an original to fall back onto. Jim Gienger stated when the clerks scan they currently go through a quality assurance process. The problem may come into play when there is different shades of color or possibly a bad copy was received to begin with. Jim stated there are options available when scanning such as black and white, grey scale and color when necessary. Justice Sandstrom stated it seems to be more of a training and implementation issue. Rod agreed and stated when the clerks were trained they are to make sure everything is correctly lined up and legible. Rod says it is not an Odyssey problem it is a quality control issue. He stated initially they struggled but it has since gotten better. Dennis Herbeck stated there are certain documents that may not scan well. He also stated some documents are not legible when received and is the responsibility of the person submitting them. Judge Racek stated that ultimately these documents will be received through e-filing in the future and if they are not legible they will be rejected and we should be following the same practice now. Larry Zubke stated for those documents that are the originals and if there is no way to get a better image of those items they should be kept as an exhibit and noted on the case. Rod Olson agreed and explained that is what they are currently doing in Unit 2.
Judge Herauf expressed concern that 5 days is not a long enough time frame for a judge to review all documents that have come in. Judge Racek stated that there is a great deal of awareness throughout their office and there is flexibility, for example, a large document or a picture that is not well scanned will be addressed with the judge prior to destroying the documents.
Justice Sandstrom stated he attended an E-filing session at a national conference in December. He asked a panel what they do with documents of independent legal significance. He explained there were two responses. One state returns all documents to the attorney and the other state said they had identified documents of independent legal significance and are keeping them on file. Justice Sandstrom asked the committee its opinion of Administrative Order 19 and retaining documents. Sally Holewa stated that originally we settled on 5 days for destruction when we first started working with electronic documents. Judge Racek stated if it's kept much longer then they will need to establish a paper filing system once again. Rod Olson stated once e-filing is better established this will not be an issue due to not having the document to begin with. Justice Sandstrom stated that the general consensus of the committee is retaining documents for 7 days is sufficient. Justice Sandstrom stated he would work with Mike Hagburg on tweaking the order for those items of independent legal significance.
Sally Holewa stated that when the Operations group first visited this issue, they started making a list of documents that might be of independent legal significance and then shifted to having the party submitting the document be responsible for identifying those documents rather than having the burden placed on the clerk.
January 18th power outage and impact on the Courts and Odyssey system
Larry Zubke stated that he has not received official documentation on the cause of the power outage and what they will do to prevent this in the future. He stated there were some digital audio frustrations and changes have since been made. He also stated that SessionWorks should still function provided the cases are downloaded prior to the outage.
Sally Holewa explained that the proposed disaster recovery study is in doubt with the legislation. They feel it is better to have ITD do a statewide study.
Recap of IT projects for the 2009-2011 biennium and current budget status
Larry Zubke stated most projects listed in the IT plan are complete. The UCIS to Odyssey replacement project is still in process. There is still a fair amount of money left for pc's, scanners, citrix boxes and licenses. For the most part the project should be done by June 30th. The virtual server expansion was on the plan. There were about 40 when we started the biennium and we are now at about 70. The middle tier server for Unit 3 has been upgraded. Last spring the digital central server was installed. This would be the third level of digital audio support. Larry stated ITV was installed in Pierce and McKenzie counties and we replaced a failed system in Stutsman. Wireless networks were installed in Burleigh and Cass County. Due to the Odyssey project, almost every state employed clerk position was given a new pc. To date we have replaced about 215 pc's and 112 printers. After the Odyssey project is complete we will have installed 165 scanners. Larry explained we are currently finalizing the quotes for the last project on the list which is to put video in the Supreme Court courtroom.
Don Wolf explained how he put together the projection for the remainder of the biennium. He estimates there will be roughly $2.2 million of turnback. He stated that the turnback estimate includes $1.1 million of prepayment from last biennium for the Odyssey project. In addition, $575,000 of the $600,000 appropriated for the management reserve will be turned back to the general fund. The Information Technology Department project oversight fee of $25,000 was charged to the management reserve. The estimated turnback does not include approximately $150,000 for scanners and printers for Units 3 and 4. Also to be considered is the possibility of having to pay the extra costs for Odyssey's enhanced maintenance contract proposal which wasn't included in the budget.
Judge Racek stated that previously we had deferred buying servers for video monitors for public scheduling and asked if this could be revisited. Larry stated the cost was $30,000-$40,000 for a statewide server and the monitors for one county. Larry estimated the total costs would be $80,000 - $100,000 for the system to be installed in the 4 largest counties. Larry stated the intent is to have a monitor by the front door and one on each floor.
Judge Racek moved to recommend proceeding this biennium with the video monitor project. Donna Wunderlich seconded the motion and the motion carried.
Justice Sandstrom presented a proposal from Judge Nelson to request new audio visual equipment in the new Williams County courtroom. The cost would be roughly $50,000. Larry Zubke stated an additional $8000 would be needed for the digital audio system.
Judge Racek moved to recommend the request for new audio visual equipment. Rita Fischer seconded the motion and the motion carried.
Justice Sandstrom informed the committee that Judge Medd suggested adding a trial judge to the Operations Oversight Group. He also stated that Judge Medd suggested a default printer option in Odyssey as well as a FAQ section. He also would like to see a "Back" feature in Odyssey. Jim Gienger stated that these items are being looked into and he would work with Judge Medd on these issues.
Judge Herauf moved to recommend adding a judge to the Operations Oversight Group. Rita Fischer 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 29, 2011.