Court Technology Committee
Supreme Court, Bismarck
Friday August 11, 2017
Hon. Dan Crothers, Supreme Court Justice
Hon. Jerod Tufte, Supreme Court Justice
Hon. Rhonda Ehlis, Judge – Southwest Judicial District
Sally Holewa, State Court Administrator
Susan Hoffer, Clerk of District Court – Ward County
Rod Olson, District Court Administrator – Unit 2
Lee Ann Barnhardt, Director of Education & Communication
Hon. Daniel Narum, Judge – Southeast Judicial District
Petra Hulm, Chief Deputy Clerk of Supreme Court
Michele Bring, Clerk of District Court – Burleigh County
Hon. Doug Mattson, Judge – Northwest Judicial District
Larry Zubke, Director of Technology
Cammie Schock, Business Analyst
Mike Hagburg, Staff Attorney
Jeff Stillwell, Programmer Analyst
The meeting was called to order by Justice Tufte
Approval of Minutes from April 21st, 2017 Meeting
Judge Narum was incorrectly listed under both members participating and members absent. He should be removed from the absent list. Rod Olson moved to approve the April 21st, 2017 meeting minutes with this modification. Sally Holewa seconded the motion and the motion carried.
Information Technology updates
Initial criminal e-filing project
The initial criminal e-filing project has been worked on continuously for the past several months. By the end of April we were successful in being able to create a very basic criminal case in Odyssey. But there were issues with creating more complex cases if the case required information from an arrest citation such as the citation number, driver license information, etc. We were also unable to see many of the data fields when approving the filing and we were unable to tell the filer what’s wrong with the filing if it needed to be rejected. All of these issues were reported to Tyler Technology and they have been working on a plan to resolve them. No firm dates have been provided by Tyler on when ND can expect some sort of resolution for these problems. First quarter of 2018 was mentioned in one discussion. In the meantime, CJIS and ITD have continued to work on the new system that connects the JustWare system to the Odyssey system and we plan to continue testing subsequent filings using the new system. When Tyler provides the solution that will work with complex initial filings, we will re-engage with CJIS and ITD to finish the work we started with initial filings.
Common statute table project
On May 10, 2017 we added the updated statute codes for 12.1 and 19 in Odyssey. CJIS also added the codes into the JustWare system at the same time. Some problems were reported by states attorneys in finding the new codes but the problems were minimal. On August 1, 2017 updates were added for the latest legislative changes on the 12.1 and 19 codes.
The current plan is to install the 39 codes in mid-September. At some time in the future, we will obsolete all of the old codes in Odyssey.
DUI Electronic search warrant system
The system was installed in Grand Forks and Nelson counties in January but it has not been used for any DUI warrants. Larry reached out to McKenzie County Presiding Judge Robin Schmidt last week to see if all of the county entities would be willing to try it in McKenzie County.
The IT department has also been working on modifying the system to make it useable for other warrant types. Unlike the DUI warrant portion which creates the affidavit and warrant, the “other” warrant solution would simply be a mechanism to electronically attach and pass the warrant affidavit between the law officer and the judge. The affidavit would still be created on a separate law officer or states attorney owned system like it is today. The system would generate a warrant document and the judge would apply his or her electronic signature to the document along with other necessary information. There is additional work needed before this modification can be tested.
The group working on a new court website has met several times this year. We initially identified several court websites that had features we liked. The State of Wyoming had the most features we liked and we were able to obtain portions of their programming code. The IT department has been working on new databases to house some of the existing data and mockups of future pages. At some point, the group will be expanded with additional members that have knowledge of what should be included for district courts, court administration, etc.
Odyssey User Group update
A memo was circulated to the Court Technology Committee explaining current pending issues and issues that have been resolved. Justice Tufte questioned how the Governor’s Pardon process worked that had been completed by the User Group. Cammie explained that the disposition is amended to dismissed with a reason selected of “Governor’s Pardon”.
Proposed Joint Procedure Committee Rule 3.5 changes
The Joint Procedure Committee agreed that the appendix should be a part of the rule and that attorneys should be required to use the Attorney Subscription Management System. However, they do not believe the emails that come from the subscription system should be the equivalent of service at this time.
Mike Hagburg explained that the Joint Procedures Committee thought the Attorney Subscription Management System was a useful tool however there were still some deficiencies in the system that needed to be addressed. He stated that the list of filing codes to choose from needs to be paired down to those which will be required, however the issue remains on trying to come to a consensus of what is required. He also stated they wanted a link directly to the document within the email for the attorney to specifically see what was being served. There was also concern over the amount of emails received when something is filed. Sally agreed that receiving multiple notifications for the same filing would be frustrating. Cammie suggested that once we are further along in the process, we should look at turning off most of the email notifications that come from File & Serve with the exception of the rejected filings notification.
Justice Tufte questioned what the minimal usage requirement will be for the subscription system. Mike Hagburg stated it would be for orders and judgments.
Larry expressed security concerns about putting a link in an email to a document that would take the user directly into our database. He asked if making the user enter their username and password would be an issue. Mike said that most users are accustomed to having to enter in usernames and passwords when using websites.
Larry suggested highlighting the recommended filing codes within the user interface so attorneys would know which ones to select at a minimum. Sally stated she would want the recommended list of filing codes to come from Joint Procedures. Larry questioned whether they would know what the filing codes mean. Sally suggested Mike Hagburg and Larry Zubke work to create a list of recommended codes.
Sally stated that the Court Technology Committee should send a letter to the Court explaining what we have been discussing and what the intentions are.
Proposed Joint Procedure Committee Rule 4 changes
Mike Hagburg explained that Joint Procedures has made proposed modifications to Rule 4 to allow service by publication to the state court website rather than service by publication in a newspaper. The Joint Procedure Committee is submitting it to the Court Technology Committee to investigate the technology and staffing needs of creating such a site.
Currently, an attorney submits an affidavit for service of publication to a newspaper, that gets published for the appropriate length of time and then the attorney submits a document to the courts saying they have done service by publication. If we have a website to substitute for that, we will somehow have to do the work in-house whether it becomes automatic, semi-automatic or manual. This would be accessible to attorneys and pro se litigants who need to do service by publication, in addition to the court.
The discussion was also that there would need to be a case number in existence in order to provide service by publication on the website. There would also need to be a gatekeeper to approve the service document being published.
Larry stated they will develop some concepts surrounding this process. Mike stated there is not a deadline however if something could be done sooner than later it may be able to be submitted to the court to consider in their next rules package.
For the Good of the Order
Judge Geiger is retiring and will need to be replaced on the Court Technology Committee. Judge Cruff was suggested as a possible replacement. There were no other suggestions from the committee. Justice Crothers will follow up on the replacement.
On behalf of the Odyssey User Group, Cammie questioned an update to Administrative Rule 41(5)(b)(10) where information that is not accessible to the public under state law, court rule, case law or court order including; records of a case in which the magistrate finds no probable cause for issuance of a complaint. The group questioned if these were meant to be locked down with a security group like a satisfied deferred case or if it was meant to be displayed as though it was not a conviction whereas you could search by case number and receive a result but not by name. Mike Hagburg stated they should be treated like others in that section and should not be available to the public like the deferred impositions. The second question was what should happen if there are multiple counts on the case and not all were found to have no probable cause. Sally stated it originated because there were entire cases sitting open as a result of no probable cause found and was thought of as a whole case scenario.
The meeting was adjourned by Justice Tufte. The next meeting is scheduled for November 17th, 2017.