TOPEKA — The Kansas Supreme Court today released its rollout plan for the judicial branch's new centralized case management system that will allow all district and appellate case data to reside on a single web-based platform, transforming the way the state court system serves the people of Kansas.
“Implementing statewide case management is a defining achievement for the judicial branch, which processes more than 380,000 cases each year,” said Chief Justice Lawton Nuss. "We look forward to bringing the first district courts onto the platform in about 18 months and to having all courts on it within four years."
The judicial branch entered into an $11.5 million contract with Tyler Technologies of Plano, Texas, to customize and use its Odyssey Case Manager™ system. It will be paid for with docket fees earmarked by the Kansas Legislature for the project.
Odyssey was recommended by the eCourt Steering Committee, formed in 2015 to identify key requirements for a centralized case management system. Justice Dan Biles serves as chair of the steering committee and its members include representatives of the appellate and district courts, including justices, judges, court administrators, clerks, and information technology staff. eCourt subcommittees with wider ranging representation of court personnel and members of the legal community focused on specific areas such as infrastructure, requirements, and rules, and their findings were reported to the steering committee.
“Odyssey will integrate well with our existing electronic document filing system already in use across the state," Biles said. "Our rollout focuses on higher volume courts first, so we move the biggest share of case processing to this web-based environment early in the project. In the end, we expect to see improved court efficiency through access to real-time case information."
The order in which district courts will be brought onto the new system is shown in the centralized case management system rollout plan. Year one will entail customizing Odyssey to align with Kansas laws and court rules. Appellate courts – Court of Appeals and Supreme Court – are a separate track that will take place in years three and four of the project.
Installation of the centralized case management system is a key component in the Kansas Supreme Court's eCourt plan. It will complete the conversion from local, paper-driven processes to a statewide electronic one. It will provide attorneys, judges, and court personnel using an internet connection immediate access to authorized case information, details, and records from across the state. It will also require the statewide standardization of many local court practices.
The primary goals of the centralized case management system implementation are to:
Improve case processing in the district and appellate courts.
Increase the efficiency of information delivery to district and appellate court judges.
Increase operational efficiency and effectiveness through automating certain activities and streamlining other operations.
Improve data quality and integrity.
Improve performance measurement, analysis, and reporting through enhanced information collection, storage, retrieval, and analysis.
Enable work sharing between district courts, primarily among clerks and court services officers.
Maintain and improve data sharing between various governmental and public entities.
Maintain and improve the ability to process electronic payments.
Enable web-based sharing of public information.
The 2014 Legislature established the Electronic Filing and Case Management Fund with deposits from docket fees dedicated to finalizing the efiling project and implementing centralized case management under the Supreme Court's eCourt plan. By statute, each year through fiscal year 2019, the first $3.1 million received in docket fee revenue will be deposited into that fund. In fiscal year 2020 and later years, the first $1 million in docket fee revenue is directed into the fund for things such as maintaining eCourt components.