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Kenley appears warm to boost in Odyssey funding

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Senate Appropriations Chairman Luke Kenley, R-Noblesville, on Thursday signaled he supported a boost in funding for the Odyssey case management system and other court technology functions, after proposed funding was reduced in the House budget plan.

Kenley said the Indiana Supreme Court and the Judicial Technology and Automation Committee, in particular, had done their part absorbing budget cuts in recent years, and he believed their efforts should be rewarded.

“We’ve come off an extremely lean time, and we’ve had your cooperation in that regard,” Kenley told Chief Justice Brent Dickson during a committee hearing on the court’s budget.

“We’ll do our best,” Kenley said. “We think we have a little (money). We don’t know if we have very much.”

Dickson earlier told Senators that funding for Odyssey “remains our top priority.”

Odyssey was installed in 28 courts in 2012 and now has a presence in 45 counties, Director and Counsel for Trial Court Technology Mary DePrez told committee members.

A proposal to increase the automated record keeping case-filing fee that supports JTAC from $5 to $7 passed the House in House Bill 1393. The bill moved through the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday. The bill as originally proposed would have increased the fee to $10, but the boost to $7 would restore the fee to the level it was at before being cut several years ago.

HB 1393 also creates a JTAC oversight committee, and the Senate Judiciary panel amended the bill to define its members and specify that private vendors in non-Odyssey jurisdictions have equitable access to send and receive information.

Kenley said even “the most vociferous opponents” of Odyssey agreed the proposed committee “is going to give them a way to solve this problem.”

Dickson said other requested budget increases for court programs would fund upgrades and increasing costs of existing contracts and obligations.

The court also hopes to receive funding to develop an appellate case management system, Dickson said, calling the current system “antiquated” and “paper-based.”

Dickson also pressed for funding for juvenile detention alternatives. Staff support at the courts would help foster implementation of programs being pursued in concert with the Department of Correction and the Criminal Justice Institute, he said.



 


 

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  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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