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8 submit proposals for Indiana appellate system

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Indiana Lawyer Rehearing

Eight companies are interested in outfitting the Indiana appellate courts with a case management system with public access and e-filing capabilities.

The Indiana Division of State Court Administration reports that those eight companies from around the country and Ontario submitted proposals by the Aug. 20 deadline. Now, the state will review the documents totaling about 2,000 pages before a public evaluation scheduled for Sept. 30.

The current Indiana appellate system was designed and built in the 1980s and has been updated through the years, but it largely remains the same. A new system would allow the courts the possibility of linking to the statewide case management system known as Odyssey, which is now implemented in about 50 trial courts and 21 counties throughout the state.

But the state judiciary wants to modernize the system to allow for better public access, more internal efficiency, and e-filing that might be similar to what exists within the federal courts.

In early July, the state judiciary issued a public notice of contracting opportunity seeking proposals for an information technology system that would be put in place for the state’s appellate system.

The 27-page notice says the primary goals are to increase the appellate courts’ productivity and overall efficiency with a data-entry system that can produce real-time data validation. One component is to give litigants and attorneys the ability to file briefs and motions electronically and enable trial courts and clerks to file transcripts and records the same way online.

Representatives from 13 companies attended – either on-site or remotely – a conference in mid-July where they could hear details before submitting proposals, according to the Division of State Court Administration.

Those that submitted proposals use one of two software models – either a custom application developed by internal resources, a contractor, or a combination of the two; or commercial off-the-shelf software (COTS) that’s licensed by an independent software vendor and can be configured and personalized.

The companies submitting proposals are:

•    Amicus Group, an Ohio-based company that has implemented 200 systems for local governments in the past decade. The proposal calls for a custom system.

•    Aptitude Solutions, a Florida-based division of Lender Processing Services that describes itself as a leading provider of integrated mortgage, real estate and government technology and services. The proposal for Indiana is the COTS software model.

•    CaseLoad Software, a Toronto-based company that focuses on appellate case management systems and has implemented them in multiple U.S. jurisdictions, locally and statewide. The company proposal calls for COTS software.

•    L-T Court Tech, a New York company that offers court-specific software and has been used to manage 5.8 million filings for its clients that include appellate courts. The company is proposing COTS software for Indiana.

•    New Dawn Technologies, based in Utah, which says on its website that its JustWare software is currently used in more than 200 federal, state, and local courts and law-related offices. The proposal for Indiana calls for COTS software.

•    Sustain Technologies, with offices in California and Colorado, which reports that its products have been used in more than 350 courts in 10 states and three countries during the past two decades. For Indiana, the company is proposing COTS software.

•    TriVir LLC, a Virginia-based privately held corporation focusing on highly customized software solutions for various business sectors, such as government, education, medical, technology, and consumer-focused organizations. The Indiana proposal calls for custom software.

•    Tyler Technologies, a Dallas company that has implemented thousands of government office case management systems nationally and in 2007 secured a contract to implement Odyssey system in the trial courts for all of Indiana’s 92 counties.

Once the proposals are reviewed, the state judiciary expects to evaluate those by the end of September and eventually invite the companies to conduct public demonstrations of what their systems can offer Indiana. After that, final offers would be made before an eventual contract award. No specific timeline has been set for that, but the project is expected to take a couple years and is largely dependent on funding availability.

“We’re very pleased with the response we got,” said Robert Rath, appellate information technology director. “This is a major project for our courts in the next couple years, and we’re looking forward to this.”
 

Rehearing "Judiciary ready to move on appellate CMS e-filing" IL July 21- Aug. 3, 2010

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  1. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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