Monday, August 22, 2016

E-Filing: Restrictions on document dimensions removed. (But you still need to use Letter size!)

Previously, Doxpop rejected documents larger than 8-1/2 X 11 inches to prevent filings that don't conform to the requirements of Indiana Administrative Rule 11.

Now, we have learned that the clerks will not reject any filing due to size, so for now, we have removed the rejection based on size and in the coming weeks will be replacing it with a warning so you will know if you might be filing a non-confirming document, but are not blocked from doing so.

Why would we want to allow non-conforming documents through? A couple of good reasons:

  • Documents that are just a tiny bit too large due to skewed scanning don't really present a big problem to the courts, so within reasonable limits "close enough" applies.
  • For Trial Courts. AR 11 allows larger documents to be attached as exhibits. This includes wills created before 1/1/1992.

Paying the Sheriff's fees in new e-filing counties

Several new counties have joined the E-Filing system since we last posted, and we have just asked them all how they want payment to the Sheriff for Civil Process on new cases to be handled.

In Rush County, payments should be made through the e-filing system.

In Cass, Franklin, Jackson and Union counties, attach your payment to the document when you deliver it to the Sheriff.

For the complete list of payment procedures for all counties, refer to this previous post, which we update regularly: http://blog.doxpop.com/2016/07/e-filing-paying-sheriff-for-civil.html

Monday, August 1, 2016

Welcome to the Bay County, Michigan Register of Deeds.

This week we are adding our first Michigan County to Doxpop.

Brandon Krause, the Register of Deeds for Bay County, Michigan has selected Doxpop to provide on-line access to the documents recorded in his office.

We are awaiting official confirmation of how far back records go. Based on record counts, it appears that complete indexes and images are available from 1973 forward. Brandon and his staff have been working on a significant back-scanning and indexing project, so there is an impressive amount of information available already (over 930,000 documents!) They are adding more history every week.

Use the buttons in the upper right corner of the screen to toggle between Michigan and Indiana. Your Doxpop subscription will work in either state, so there's no need to pay for any new services. The addition of Michigan just adds even more value to the subscription you already have.

Folks who are used to searching the Indiana Recorder records on Doxpop will find that the Michigan Register of Deeds records are similar.
  • The main difference is that the "Instrument Number" used in Indiana is replaced by "Liber/Page" in Michigan. This is nearly identical to the "Book/Page" designation used in older Indiana Records.
  • In the Advanced Search area, Corners become a searchable record in Michigan. This is used to locate the documentation for original or remonumented section corners as the basis of surveys.
Since this is Doxpop's first foray into Michigan, we may change a few details about the system as we gather feedback from early users, but of course our main feature of excellent customer service will remain the centerpiece as we expand our services.

As we move forward on this project, we will be quickly adding the Doxpop Property Watch service and later interfacing with the Bay County Geographical Information System to extend the services available in Bay County beyond those previously available.

Thanks to Brandon Krause and his staff for all of their help on this project. What a great team to work with! 






Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Appendices for appellate briefs should be filed as separate lead documents.

This morning we learned something new about appellate E-Filing.

Per a phone conversation with a staff member at the Court of Appeals, appendices should *not* be attached to the brief when e-filed, but rather, filed as lead documents.

This solves the problem of what to do when your brief plus all appendices exceeds the 35MB limit for an envelope. You just start a new envelope. (But make sure you have not exceeded the 20MB/volume limit for any given document.)

This differs from the advice found on page 19 of the E-filing User Guide found on the State Judiciary web site, so we'll notify them of this discrepancy and may have further clarification to add, but while we wait for more information, it made sense to give all of our friends the heads-up on this.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Perry County Courts move to Odyssey - Your access to Perry Courts through Doxpop is unaffected.

Over the weekend of July 16/17, the Perry County Courts converted to the Odyssey case tracking system, thus moving their data storage and administration to Indianapolis. 

This move does not significantly affect Doxpop users because Doxpop buys access from the State Court Administration to a real-time feed of court data from the Odyssey system. Our customers' access to court information will not be interrupted during this transition.

A few of the services we provide will look odd during the transition because there will be a short period when both the old data and the new data are available. In particular:
  • If you use the personal calendar feature to keep track of hearings connected to your Bar ID, you will see two colors for each County on your calendar. Every event will be available, but the older cases will have a different color from the newer cases. When we complete the merge process, these will go back to being a single color.
  • When you look at our "County Details Page", you will find two entries for each court until the merge is complete.
  • When you are doing searches, you will find two entries for some cases. This is because while we are loading the information from Odyssey, we will also be maintaining the old data until the operation is complete to ensure you don't miss anything. When you see two case entries, please look at both to ensure you have the most current information.
  • If you use any of our "watch" services to keep an eye on cases or people of interest, we will be moving those watches over so they point to the cases and people that are a part of the Odyssey data feed. We run a process to convert these twice each day, but it is possible for notification of events to slip through the cracks between conversion runs so you may want to periodically do a manual check between now and the second week of August, after that, we'll be back to normal.
Finally, one deficiency in the Odyssey system is that financial information is not exported in their data feed, so that detail will not be available after the transition. We regularly ask that the Court Administration add this to the data feed, but so far, we are told that it is not allowed because the clerks using the Odyssey system have requested that they not make that information available to us. If this information is important to you, please encourage the clerks you work with to tell the State Court Administration differently so we can get the information back online.

As always, we are available to answer any questions in person, so don't hesitate to call support at 866-369-7671 if you have any questions.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

'Tis Tippecanoe Tuesday!

Who says Tuesdays aren't exciting?

Today, we announce the addition of Tippecanoe County Court Case information to Doxpop's Service!

Doxpop pays the State Court Administration for a real-time data feed from counties using the Odyssey case management system, so when Tippecanoe converted to Odyssey recently. they were added to Doxpop as well.

Court case information available for Tippecanoe dates back to January of 1988, and includes all public case types.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Why do clerks still collect the certified mail fee from e-filers? It's complicated...

After viewing our last post, Richard Mann pointed out via twitter that another oddity in e-filing fees:
Although e-filers are now handling all service for initial filings, the clerks still charge the amounts built into the filing fee for certified mail to defendants (or additional defendants, depending on the case type.)

The reason is that although the court rules have changed, these fees are set by the legislature, and the legislature can't change their statutes until they convene for the 2017 session in January.

The court has indicated that they plan to ask the legislature to amend the statutes as soon as possible. Until that occurs, the clerks are forced by the law to collect the fees, so please don't gripe to them- It's not their fault!

Also, please don't make the mistake of assuming that you don't have to take care of certified mail service when you e-file just because these fees are charged. If you e-file, you are responsible for making sure initial service occurs, not the clerk.

Richard Mann regularly tweets about many topics and recently published a nice summary of how the recent rule changes affect attorneys. His twitter feed is one of the resources we use to keep an eye on interesting developments in Indiana law. Follow him at https://twitter.com/RAMattorneys.