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TOPEKA—The Kansas judicial branch plan to launch a new centralized case management system in six more judicial districts in June is delayed.

Statewide orders limiting in-person contact during the COVID-19 pandemic prevented in-person training and data review by district court staff, both of which are needed before the transition to the new system can take place.

"While this is a setback, it does not jeopardize this important advancement in court operations statewide," said Supreme Court Justice Dan Biles, who chairs the steering committee overseeing the project. "As soon as our court employees are able to resume working on this project, we will complete our efforts to bring this new system to the next group of judicial districts."

The judicial branch planned to implement the system in June in these courts:

  • 4th Judicial District (Anderson, Coffey, Franklin, and Osage counties);

  • 6th Judicial District (Bourbon, Linn, and Miami counties);

  • 11th Judicial District (Cherokee, Crawford, and Labette counties);

  • 14th Judicial District (Chautauqua and Montgomery counties);

  • 19th Judicial District (Cowley County); and

  • 31st Judicial District (Allen, Neosho, Wilson, and Woodson counties).

The system already is operating in the 8th and 21st judicial districts (Clay, Dickinson, Geary, Marion, Morris, and Riley counties). The rollout to all state courts, including all judicial districts, the Court of Appeals, and the Supreme Court, originally was to be complete by the end of calendar year 2021.

In a series of administrative orders in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Supreme Court reduced or eliminated in-person contact with court staff and judges to protect the health of the judicial branch workforce and the health of people who need its services.

Although the Kansas Judicial Center has been closed, Office of Judicial Administration staff continue to work remotely on several aspects of the case management project:

  • programming and testing the system to report data to the Kansas Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Revenue Division of Motor Vehicles;

  • updating documents used by court staff to operate the case management system; and

  • working directly with people outside the court system—such as prosecutors and sheriff departments—who need access to court information beyond what is available to the general public.

The ability for courts to resume regular operations will influence the new go-live date for this group of courts.

Installation of the centralized case management system is a key component in the Supreme Court's eCourt plan. It 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.

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.

The primary goals of the centralized case management system implementation are to:

  • Improve case processing in the district and appellate courts.

  • Enable work sharing between district courts, primarily among clerks and court services officers.  

  • Enable web-based sharing of public information.

  • 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 data sharing between various governmental entities based on information security requirements, contribution to the effective administration of justice, and need.

  • Maintain and improve the ability to process electronic payments.

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