Friday, December 9, 2016

E-Filing: How Proposed Orders and Notices work

There has been some confusion about how proposed orders and notices work in the Indiana E-Filing System. They are handled differently from other documents. Here's what you need to know:

All documents other than proposed orders or notices submitted through the e-filing system will result in the filer receiving a "Submitted Filing Notification" at the time of filing and later, an "Accepted Filing Notification" containing a link to the file-stamped copy.

Proposed orders and notices are different. You will received the "Submitted Filing Notification" at the time of submission. Any attorneys with service contacts attached to the case will also receive their service copies. However, that will be the last set of communications anyone will receive from the e-filing system about these documents. You will not receive an "Accepted Filing Notification".

Here's why that happens:

After initial submission, most documents flow into an queue where clerk or court staff process them, assigning case numbers if needed and filestamping them. However, any document requiring the signature of a judge is sent down a different path, where the judge may approve or deny it. (Or in some cases approve an edited version.) When the documents enter the judge's queue, they leave the e-filing system.

That means you will receive the approved order or notice directly from the court rather than the e-filing system, and the method of delivery may vary depending on the county. Some counties still use postal mail or the attorney's box in the clerk's office for local firms. Some counties use an "E-Notice" system to send you an email containing a link to the signed order or notice.

Regardless of how the documents are delivered, we recommend setting an alert on the case using doxpop so you will know when to start looking for delivery of the order or notice.

Next, you need to determine how the county handles delivery of orders and notices:

If the county still delivers hard copies, you just have to wait for that delivery to occur, and if it doesn't happen in a timely fashion, call to inquire.

If the county uses an e-notice system, but you didn't receive your email with the link to the document immediately after the minute entry noting approval was made, check the following:
  1. Is the attorney listed on the case? If the attorney is not listed as an attorney of record in the case management system, the e-notice system won't know who to send the order/notice to. Look up the case on Doxpop, and if the attorney is not listed in the CCS, call the clerk to get this corrected. Note: Being attached as an e-filing service contact and being listed on the court's CMS are two different things. 
  2. Is the e-notice system turned on for the attorney? This is set up on a per-person basis, and if it is not turned on, of course nothing happens. Call the clerk to inquire.
  3. Is the email address correct? Have the clerk read you the email address from the e-notice system.
  4. Is there more than one record for the attorney? Some counties set up separate attorney records for the same person in different roles. For instance, they may use one attorney record for a person's private practice and another one for their part-time role as a public defender or deputy prosecutor.
  5. Is your email client throwing these documents in your spam-can? Spam filters are especially suspicious of emails containing links, so you may need to "white list" the domain that documents are sent from. (See the list below for the domains you need to allow through.)

We've surveyed many of the clerks who are doing e-filing, and here's how they are currently handling orders & notices:

Cass: Delivery via postal mail or courthouse box for local attorneys.
Clark: Delivery via E-Notice system only. Emails come from courts.in.gov.
Clay: Delivery via postal mail.
Elkhart: Delivery via E-Notice system only. Emails come from courts.in.gov.
Floyd: [Unknown... watch this space for updates.]
Franklin: Delivery via E-Notice system only. Emails come from courts.in.gov.
Grant: Delivery via E-Notice system only. Emails come from courts.in.gov.
Hamilton: Delivery via E-Notice system only. Emails come from courts.in.gov.
Harrison:  Delivery via E-Notice system. Emails come from courts.in.gov; Postal mail if attorney's email not in their system.
Hendricks: Delivery via E-Notice system only. Emails come from courts.in.gov.
Henry: Delivery via E-Notice system only. Emails come from courts.in.gov.
Huntington: Delivery via E-Notice system. Emails come from courts.in.gov; Courthouse box for local attorneys without an email in the system, Postal mail for others not in system.
Jackson:  Superior Emails using personal county email addresses, Circuit Court using Postal mail, Superior 2 using postal mail.  Currently, Emails will come from jacksoncountyin.gov. They hope to implement E-Notice soon.
Johnson:  Delivery via E-Notice system. Emails come from courts.in.gov; Postal mail if attorney's email not in their system.
Marion:   [Unknown... watch this space for updates.]
Monroe [Unknown... watch this space for updates.]
Morgan:  Delivery via E-Notice system. Emails come from courts.in.gov; If attorney's address is missing, postal mail is sent with a link to the form and request for email address.  
Rush:  Delivery via E-Notice system only. Emails come from courts.in.gov.
Shelby Delivery via E-Notice system. Emails come from courts.in.gov; Postal mail if attorney's email not in their system.
Tipton:   Delivery via E-Notice system. Emails come from courts.in.gov; Postal mail if attorney's Email not in their system.
Union: Delivery via postal mail.
Wells: Delivery via E-Notice system. Emails come from notify@wellscounty.org.
White: Delivery via E-Notice system. Emails come from notify@whitecountyindiana.us.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Bartholomew County moves to Odyssey. Access to court data through Doxpop unchanged.

Over the weekend of December 3rd/4th, the Bartholomew 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 January, 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 of your needs 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.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Paying the Sheriff’s fees in Monroe and Tipton Counties

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

In Monroe County, payments should be made through the e-filing system at this time.  However, this is likely to change within the next month.

In Tipton county, 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, November 21, 2016

Not all case types can be E-Filed. Here are the exceptions.

This blog post was born of a D'oh! moment after a customer asked why she couldn't e-file on a PO (Protection Order) case and I blithely assured her that Doxpop has no problem with e-filing on confidential cases.

The problem is that although confidential cases aren't a problem for Doxpop, PO cases in particular are not included in the e-filing rollout yet for any counties. This probably has something to do with the conflict between Indiana rules, which make PO cases public, and a Federal rule which prohibits posting information on the Internet which might identify the plaintiff in a PO case.

In addition, e-filing is not available for any juvenile cases in Johnson Madison and Marion counties. This is probably due to the fact that the Quest case management system is not quite ready for e-filing yet, and these counties use Quest for their juvenile cases.

I'm not aware of any other exceptions, but please send email or post a comment if I'm wrong.

Click here to see the State Court Administration's official documentation on this question.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Wayne County Court Information will contain duplicates for a few days... Here's why:

Yesterday, (10/15) Wayne County had to do a restore of their court system using a backup created Sunday. This means information entered on their system after Sunday is missing on their end and will need to be entered manually.

Because Doxpop maintains a real-time mirror of the Wayne County system, we can act as a resource to them while they re-enter the information. However, that means that during their recovery process some information will show up twice- We'll have the data we preserved originally, and then the new entry made on their end.

There will not be any information missing, but it will look a little weird for a couple of days. When the restore is complete on the county end, we'll re-synchronize with their system to eliminate the duplicated information.

Acting as a resource to provide continuity during data recovery efforts is a service Doxpop can provide as a partner to the counties we work with, so although we're not enjoying watching our friends scramble to re-enter their information, we are happy to help. Please be patient with the folks at Wayne County over the next couple of days as they work to restore order!

The Recorder's office in Wayne County is not affected by this, and of course no other counties are affected. If you have any questions, give us a call!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Change to payment procedure for Sheriff's civil process in Shelby County

We just learned that Sheriff's civil process fees in Shelby County must now be paid directly to the Sheriff rather than via the e-filing system.

That means when you e-file a document that you want the Shelby County Sheriff to serve, you must supply the Sheriff with three copies of the document accompanied by the payment of $25. Attorney's offices may pay using a business checking account. Individuals must pay via cash, certified check, or money order. Personal checks are not an acceptable form of payment.

This new information has been added to our previous post containing a complete list of e-filing counties and their procedures for Sheriff's service:

http://blog.doxpop.com/2016/07/e-filing-paying-sheriff-for-civil.html


Thursday, November 3, 2016

E-Filing will be required for NEW case filings in Hamilton County beginning in 2017

So far, when Counties have made E-Filing "mandatory", it has only been for subsequent filings, meaning any filing on a case that already exists. Attorneys have been allowed to initiate new cases by filing on paper.

Starting on January 1, 2017, attorneys will be required to complete initial filings electronically in Hamilton Circuit & Superior Courts in the following case types:

AD – Adoption
CB – Foreign Judgment
CC – Civil Collection
CT – Civil Tort
DC* – Domestic Relations with Children
DN* – Domestic Relations without Children
EM – Estate, Miscellaneous
ES – Estate, Supervised
EU – Estate, Unsupervised
GU – Guardianship
JP – Juvenile Paternity
MF – Mortgage Foreclosure
MH – Mental Health
MI – Miscellaneous Civil
PC – Post-Conviction Relief
PL – Civil Plenary
RS – Reciprocal Support
SC – Small Claim
TP* – Verified Petition for Issuance of a Tax Deed
TR – Trust
TS* – Application for Judgment in a Tax Sale
XP – Expungement
(*The DC, DN, TP and TS case types are new, and will be added on 1/1/17) 

Remember that when you e-file a new case, you are responsible for service. (The clerk will not longer handle certified mail or hand the document off to the Sheriff for you.) If you are unsure of the rules for initiating a case, give us a call, and we'll be happy to talk you through it over the phone or come do a training session at your office to get you up to speed.