Indiana court to try new system

The Marion County Superior Court announced July 23 that it plans to pilot

a new computerized case management system that will make vital courthouse

information more accessible to Indiana government agencies and citizens.

Computer Associates International Inc. (CA), a computer software firm,

will design and install a statewide computerized management system that

will keep track of all developments in all cases pending in Indiana courts.

This information will be readily available to anyone who needs court information.

For example:

* Citizens and lawyers will be able to check the status of their cases

over the Internet.

* Courts will be able to transmit electronically orders to the Bureau

of Motor Vehicles suspending or reinstating driver's licenses.

* The state will have an electronic registry of all domestic violence

protective orders issued by the courts of Indiana.

* A judge will be able to determine whether a defendant has additional

pending charges anywhere else in the state.

* Judges, clerks, prosecutors, lawyers and their staffs will be able

to process transactions electronically that are now done by hand.

Kurt Snyder, director of and counsel for trial court technology for

Indiana, said the new system will enable the courts to share information

with other state entities, such as the Bureau of Motor Vehicles and the

state police. According to Snyder, the old system did not allow this type

of sharing to take place.

"Peoples' expectations are rising and rising," Snyder said. "People

expect certain things like paying at the pump for their gas. Soon people

will ask themselves, 'Why can't I check the status of my case online.'"

The Indiana Supreme Court selected CA in May following a lengthy competitive

procurement process that began last year. As part of the three-year $7 million

contract, CA will customize the court system's existing case management

computer program to meet Indiana requirements and needs as well as assist

the Judicial Technology and Automation Committee (JTAC) staff in implementing

the system in all Indiana courts.

Funding for the project will be provided by an increase in the $5 court-filing

fees authorized by the legislature, grants from the Indiana Criminal Justice

Institute and other sources.

Snyder said the system may be up and running in about 18 months.

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