Court Technology Committee
April 24th, 2015
Hon. Frank Racek, Judge – East Central Judicial District
Hon. Dan Crothers, Supreme Court Justice
Hon. Daniel Narum, Judge – Southeast Judicial District
Hon. Richard Geiger, Judge Northeast Judicial District
Petra Hulm, Chief Deputy Clerk of Supreme Court
Kathy Ouren, Clerk of District Court – Cass County
Donna Wunderlich, District Court Administrator - Unit 3
Sally Holewa, State Court Administrator
Lee Ann Barnhardt, Director of Education & Communication
Susan Hoffer, Clerk of District Court – Ward County
Hon. William Herauf, Judge – Southwest Judicial District
Hon. Doug Mattson, Judge – Northwest Judicial District
Scott Johnson, Assistant State Court Administrator
Steve Burton, Tyler Technologies
Larry Zubke, Director of Technology
Cammie Schock, Business Analyst
The meeting was called to order by Chair Racek.
Approval of Minutes from November 14, 2014 Meeting
Judge Narum moved to approve the November 14, 2014 meeting minutes. Justice Crothers seconded the motion and the motion carried.
Odyssey User Group update
Judge Racek outlined some of the topics from the report provided by Chris Iverson. The group has discussed various configuration and ways to capture information in regards to minimum mandatory sentences and referee appointments. They are reviewing our current rejection guidelines for e-filing and proposed changes to rule 3.5. Additionally, many business processes have been updated and created.
Justice Crothers requested additional information on the rejection guidelines process. Judge Racek stated that in March 17,000 documents were filed per week and roughly 5% of documents were being rejected. The rejection reasons are published on the Supreme Court website along with the guidelines on e-filing. IT is gathering information on the most common rejection reasons. Petra Hulm asked if we could create a centralized email address that attorneys could send their questions/concerns too. Cammie Schock suggested the subcommittee could possibly review the inbox on a weekly basis. Judge Racek is going to talk to Chris Iverson on getting the topic on the next user group agenda.
Electronic signatures and file stamps
Judge Racek stated that Cass County has been piloting an option to electronically sign external documents. One of the stumbling blocks has been what to do with the traditional file stamp. When a document is e-filed, a time stamp is automatically applied. This is an all or none feature. When we receive e-filed proposed orders, they receive a timestamp at the time of filing. Those orders then sit in waiting for 27 days before signing. Upon signing, another timestamp is applied to the same document which has resulted in some confusion.
Sally questioned if we should discontinue the use of the visual file stamp. Odyssey tracks the times and dates a document was filed, signed and added as an event. Larry expressed concerns of Judge Mattson’s, in which he uses the timestamp in court to tell when individuals were served.
After much discussion, Sally Holewa moved to recommend to the Supreme Court to discontinue use of the visual file stamp on the document itself, as well as, continue rolling out the electronic signature process statewide on externally submitted documents. Judge Narum seconded the motion and the motion carried.
Odyssey 2013-2014 install status
In December a replicated database was created. All public access inquiries and reports have been directed to this database. In January, we installed Odyssey 2013 and Session Works 3.0. In February and March, we worked on getting Grand Forks municipal onto Odyssey. They went live March 1st. In April, version 3.9 of File & Serve was installed as well as our 5th job server. We plan to install Odyssey 2014 into a test environment in May.
With the installation of File & Serve version 3.9, Tyler has discontinued support for Microsoft Word .doc and .docx file types. We had 45 users still filing these documents types. They have been contacted and instructed not to file these document types. Rule 3.5 currently says we allow Microsoft Word file types. Larry questioned whether we should go back to Tyler and request that support be reinstated or if we should suggest a change to Rule 3.5 to remove .doc and .docx files as accepted formats.
Judge Geiger moved to recommend to the Supreme Court that Rule 3.5 be updated to remove Word (.doc or .docx) as approved filing formats. Petra Hulm seconded the motion and the motion carried.
Session Works 3.0 status
Minor issues have been reported with the 3.0 install. There is a patch that fixes half of our issues but we are waiting for the next patch which should fix the remaining issues. We are working on rolling out Session Works in Ward and McKenzie counties. Burleigh County has also expressed interest and will be our next location to get started.
Common Statute Table status
Meetings are held weekly with the Attorney General’s office, CJIS and ITD. ITD has set a date of July 1st to have something rolled out.
2015-2017 IT Budget status
Sally stated the budget was on its way to the governor’s office. The juvenile case management system was cut, as well as video/audio upgrades. The Supreme Court facility expansion was added to since we will be sharing the space with the Legislature. Criminal case initiation remains in the budget along with tablets. Disaster recovery was reduced by $170,000.
Court records on microfilm
There are several courts that have microfilm and are experiencing degradation of the images. Pricing has been obtained to convert the images and we will need to budget for this next session. Sally believes it will be most cost effective to convert all images. Sally stated we need to also start thinking about records retention.
For the Good of the Order
The group discussed the possibility of creating a File and Serve workgroup to include attorneys and their staff, as well as a judge, court administrator and an IT representative. Judge Racek will include the recommendation of creating the group in his letter to the Supreme Court.
The meeting was adjourned by Judge Racek.