Mississippi creating fund for court case management system

Mississippi state lawmakers have passed a bill that would establish funding for the development, implementation and maintenance of a statewide uniform case management and electronic filing system.

The legislation would impose a $10 fee on civil case filings in order to generate money that will be put into the special Comprehensive Electronic Court Systems Fund in order to build the proposed system.

Both chambers have passed versions of the bill, which is now being reconciled.

The proposed system would provide a framework for seamless data exchange among courts and other appropriate state agencies, according to the bill. Among other things, it would duplicate court documents at remote sites to protect them against “catastrophic loss,” the bill states.

The system could also improve handling of court fees and other costs through the system, allow court officials to generate reports and make better use of analysis tools and allow the public to access trial court and individual case dockets online, according to the text of the bill.

About 10 months ago, the state’s Supreme Court adopted standards for the proposed case management and e-filing system.

“We need a statewide system that consolidates docket management, data management and e-filing into one system,” Presiding Justice William Waller Jr., chair of the E-Filing/Court Docket Management Study Committee, said in a statement last June after the standards were adopted.

“This would reduce delays and backlogs in the adjudication of cases. It would promote time and cost-efficiency, and it would ensure consistency in judicial administration,” he said.

While some district courts had computerized docket management, about 27 chancery and circuit courts had no automation, according to the Mississippi Supreme Court press release.

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