Kentucky’s Trial Program for Electronic Filing is off the rim and out the door. Here’s hoping the 2015 end of year implementation is SOONER than later

ky_flagJustin Story with the Bowling Green Daily News has posted the following story on Kentucky trial program for electronic filing in civil cases:

The Kentucky court system is preparing its electronic filing system in anticipation of getting every county on board by the end of 2015.

Introduced by the Administrative Office of the Courts, the eFiling system is anticipated by court officials to bring substantial cost savings to the court system and increase the efficiency of processing cases.

If implemented successfully, eFiling will achieve Kentucky Chief Justice John Minton’s goal of a “virtually paperless” case processing system.

“It will be a way for us in the long term to save costs, and we also are interested in and feel the need for the way the courts do business to be the same way that people do business in their daily lives,” Minton said. “With all the use of technology throughout the economy, commerce is now driven electronically and the court system … doesn’t need to be different.”

The system is being tested in the Franklin County Circuit Clerk’s Office, where attorneys, state agencies and court personnel agreed to be part of what is being called the proof-of-concept site, where the system is being tested on a limited basis before the full program is rolled out in other counties.

Court officials see eFiling as part of a broader effort to update the state’s court technology to meet demands placed on the court system as circuit clerk’s offices across the state attempt to manage ever-growing caseloads.

In Franklin County, only civil cases in its circuit court are being processed through the eFiling system, which went into operation Dec. 16.

At the end of the first week, six cases had been electronically filed, according to AOC spokeswoman Leigh Anne Hiatt.

The state will launch the system in about a dozen pilot counties during the second quarter of 2014. Those counties have not been determined, and Minton said he looks to have the system tested in a broad cross-section of populous and rural counties across the state with varying caseloads.

“Lots of counties have asked to be next, and we’ll try to get to them as quickly as we can,” Minton said. “We’re anxious to have these people involved … . This system has to work in 120 counties and there are a lot of variables to deal with in the state court system. We’re moving at a measured pace across the state.”

Warren County Circuit Clerk Brandi Duvall said that while eFiling is an exciting prospect that will simplify case management, her office just converted this month to an automated accounts receivable program, which keeps track of what courts are owed via computer rather than manually.

Duvall said it will take several months to convert manual bookkeeping files to the new electronic system, meaning that Warren County may not be in the best position to be a pilot county for eFiling.

“We were one of the first ones to get (the accounts receivable program) and we’ve only had it for less than a month and it’s taken some time to get used to,” Duvall said. “I’m excited about eFiling, but I just don’t know when it will be a practical time for us to do that … . I think it’s probably best to go electronic in smaller counties first and get all the kinks worked out because it’s such a big task for a county this size when we have so much documentation and so much paperwork that goes in and out on a daily basis.”

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4 thoughts on “Kentucky’s Trial Program for Electronic Filing is off the rim and out the door. Here’s hoping the 2015 end of year implementation is SOONER than later

  1. It’s coming to Christian County ( my neck of the woods) tomorrow. Courthouse is closed Thursday for the sole purpose of implementing it. I have to speak at the news conference tomorrow about how it’s going to benefit attorneys. I know obvious reasons why all efiling is convenient, but I haven’t been through the training so I’ll have to rely on my experience in Fed court and hope the benefits of it are somewhat similar. Christian County has a fairly large amount of cases and loaded dockets, especially when compared to the other counties that are starting it at the same time. I’m sure our clerks are thrilled. Anyway, I’m hoping for the best. This was a nice surprise from the AOC.

  2. Dunno, Mike–I’d rather it take a while and everyone be on track than be in such a rush that the process isn’t field tested enough to remove wrinkles.I don’t want it to be another CourtNet.

    • Yes, I must be insane which is defined as repeating the same thing and expecting a different result. Let us not forget
      * the records retention dropped ball at Jefferson County,
      * abysmal AOC web site redesign,
      * AOC semi-transpanency without public access (eg, retirement system; unavailability of oral argument discs (last time I asked, but will do so again which may be another sign of my insanity)),
      * the courthouse construction royal palaces chaos,
      * Supreme Court not-so-alive oral arguments,
      * bar leadership that favors big law over solo and small law,
      * a total loss of supervisory control on the wild, wild west of the Internet,
      * the senior status snafu that will deal a financial body slam to the judicial retirement system,
      * the use of a few judicial appointments to balance the legislature,
      * judges expecting a financial break on their bar dues,
      * a Court of Justice full of lawyers in need of a general counsel, and
      * a judicial retirement system that enables those who served a public trust to reap the benefices of that trust at full pay and for life.

      Just to name a few off the top of my head.

      Yes, in a moment of either weakness or anticipation, I left the shelter of reality with an expectation of a functional, quality product delivered on time, and that makes me insane.

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