Sunday, March 02, 2008

Justice Court Software -- Conformity Issues

Just a quick update on an important item that we have received a few phone calls on. SB72 1st Substitute Justice Court Amendments has passed out of the Senate and is now awaiting a hearing in the House. The bill has been discussed at length, but there seems to be a small issue of concern relative to the utilization of various software packages at the justice court level for case management purposes. The current language in the bill reads as follows:

(7) By July 1, 2011, all justice courts shall use a common case management system and disposition reporting system as specified by the Judicial Council.

The question that has been raised is if this language will require the use of CORIS by local justice courts. From the outset the Administrative Office of the Courts has expressed concern with the ability to transmit and receive compatible information between the various justice courts and district courts to ensure that crimes that are committed in one area of the state are reported and recognized in other parts of the state. The key concern that has been highlighted is if perpetual DUI offenders are slipping through the cracks because of recording issues. We had committed early on to a process that would ensure that compatibility issues would be solved to ensure accurate and timely reporting, which is the intent of this language. Because of the delayed effective date of this section, we do feel that enough time has been granted to ensure that we are only doing what is necessary to meet the objective. If it becomes apparent that a move to CORIS is going to be mandated we will have plenty of time to work through this issue and resolve it with the Administrative Office of the Courts as well as the legislature, to ensure that our concerns are addressed prior to 2011. We will track this closely as time progresses and provide periodic updates.