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TOPEKA—The judicial branch announced today it will reschedule plans to bring courts in the 13th Judicial District onto a new centralized case management system in February.

The Office of Judicial Administration is overseeing the project. It did not give a new date for courts in the district to be brought onto the new system, but it said it will announce one soon.

Schedule change tied to add-on functions

Kelly O’Brien, chief information officer in the Office of Judicial Administration, is director of the project. He said the delay is tied to add-on functions still in development that customize the case management system to fit Kansas’ needs.

“Our confidence in the new case management system remains strong, but there are add-on functions still in development that must be operating fully before we bring more courts onto the system,” O’Brien said.

One example of an add-on function in development is a system-driven way to reliably send data to other systems. Data sharing is taking place now, but it requires some level of manual support. Until this function is fully automated, or nearly so, the level of manual support it requires would grow as new courts are added to the system.

“We work daily with our vendor to finish development on this function and others, so we expect to know soon when we can announce a new date for courts in the 13th Judicial District to join the system,” O’Brien said.

The 13th Judicial District includes courts in Butler, Elk, and Greenwood counties.

Schedule change will affect timeline for other courts 

The delay for the 13th Judicial District will also delay the plan to add district courts in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 7th, and 29th judicial districts to the system later this spring.

It takes weeks to transition a group of courts from their current case management systems to the new one, as court staff must review and validate data and complete training. The vendor and the Office of Judicial Administration provide support for the transition. The number of staff available to provide support determines how much overlap there can be when two groups of courts make the change near the same time.

Courts in 23 counties already on centralized case management system

The centralized case management system is currently used by courts in 23 counties in east-central and southeast Kansas:

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

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

  • 8th Judicial District (Dickinson, Geary, Marion, and Morris counties);

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

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

  • 19th Judicial District (Cowley County);

  • 21st Judicial District (Clay and Riley counties); and

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

System is key to eCourt plan

The centralized case management system is a key component in the Supreme Court’s eCourt plan. Its implementation in courts statewide will allow 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 a 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; and

  • maintain and improve the ability to process electronic payments.

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