In an order released Sept. 14, the Indiana Supreme Court detailed 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.
Launched in December 2007, the system created by Texas-based Tyler Technologies and overseen by the Judicial Technology and Automation Committee has been implemented in 104 courts in 35 counties throughout Indiana, with about 7 million case records available online. Latest figures show 34 percent of the state’s caseload is plugged in with more courts being added each month.
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.
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 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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