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Court issues rules on bulk access to Odyssey case records

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After more than four years of requests from commercial case management system vendors, the Indiana Supreme Court has outlined how third-parties can interface with the state-provided system to provide broader public access to Indiana court records.

In a four-page order released Sept. 14, the court details the process for obtaining bulk distribution of and remote access to the records of Indiana courts using the Odyssey case management system, which is gradually connecting all of Indiana’s trial courts.

First launched in December 2007, the system created by Texas-based Tyler Technologies and overseen by the Judicial Technology and Automation Committee (JTAC) has been implemented in 104 courts in 35 counties throughout Indiana, with about 7 million case records available online. The state hit that 100-court mark this week, and with the latest figures the system plugs in 34 percent of the state’s caseload, with more courts being added each month. The public can access and search those records online free of additional charge, since the cost of system maintenance and implementation are paid for by the state.

But until now, commercial users and third-parties wanting to access that same information and share it haven’t had any guidance on how to do that. Prior to the state’s launch of Odyssey, more than two dozen different case management systems were used throughout Indiana. Those counties weren’t connected – meaning judges and attorneys in one county didn’t have access to what might be happening with parties in another county, unless they took other steps to gather information.

Several businesses have requested interfaces from JTAC since its implementation, but they haven’t received answers until now. Richmond-based Doxpop, which has been operating since 2002 and has about 13 million cases from 148 courts in 51 counties, has been requesting an interface with JTAC since 2007. Because it had not received an answer from state court officials about how to proceed, the vendor stopped offering records from certain counties that have joined Odyssey.

In this new order, the Supreme Court outlines two methods for parties to receive bulk information from the Odyssey system via the Indiana Division of State Court Administration.

On or before Oct. 1, the division will use what’s called a “file drop” method – placing Odyssey case records on a server for vendors and others with appropriate security permission to copy once a month. Fees for that method are: 1 cent for each closed case, 10 cents for an open or new case since the last file drop, and no charge for any updates to a case already provided.

On or before Jan. 1, 2012, the division can use a “messaging method” that creates and sends a message file each time an Odyssey case is added or edited. Fees for that method are: 1 cent for each closed case, 15 cents for an open or new case added since the last message, and no charge for updates to already-provided cases.

The division can exempt government and education entities from a portion or all of the fees, as long as those entities don’t sell the data or make commercial use of it. The division is also able to change the fees without further court approval as long as the fees don’t exceed fair market value for the information provided and notice has been posted online for 30 days.

Compiled information isn’t being provided at this time because it would divert the state court staff from its principal responsibilities, but the order states that recipients of the bulk information can compile that information themselves.

A separate order released this week amends Administrative Rule 9(E)(5) to allow local counties and courts to charge fees for electronic access to court records, subject to Division of State Court Administration approval. It also gives the Supreme Court the authority to adopt such a fee in instances where the public wants records from multiple courts. That rule amendment takes effect Oct. 1.
 

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  1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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