Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Please join us in welcoming the Pulaski County Courts to the Doxpop network.

Pulaski County Circuit and Superior Courts recently joined 90 other counties in making their case information available online. (We waited until after the holidays to announce this exciting news so we could have your undivided attention!)

With the addition of Pulaski Courts, you can now access current court case information from every county except Lake on Doxpop. The Pulaski Recorder's office also uses Doxpop for public access, so the services available for Pulaski now include:
  • Court E-filing.
  • Access to Public Court Case Information.
  • Access to Recorded Documents.
  • Access to Tax Warrants.
On the court side, the features of interest that this move enables are:
  • Integrated criminal e-filing for the Prosecutor, which will bring added efficiency for several offices. Case information can now flow automatically back to the Prosecutor's case management system for e-filed cases.
  • Online access to case information for attorneys, which includes the ability to set watches on cases, have their court appointments automatically sent to their office and personal calendar systems, and generally be more quickly aware of events occurring on cases of interest.
  • Online access to case information for citizens of Pulaski County at no cost. For those who are interested in following six or fewer cases, Doxpop provides free access at a limited level that includes the same research features available to attorneys.
  • Online access for County offices. Being able to quickly look up cases from anywhere is a boon to offices like the Sheriff, Probation, Community Corrections and other local justice agencies.
  • Online access for State agencies. The State Police, Department of Corrections,  Department of Child Services and many other agencies use Doxpop to look up information that helps them coordinate with county offices. This reduces the burden on those responding to requests for information from State agencies and makes their interaction more effective. 
All of this was made possible by the recent efforts of several county officials. In particular, we thank Judge Crystal Kocher and First Deputy Clerk Neena Weaver for all of the time they've put into this project during the last few months.

Clerk Christi Hoffa has been working to make this project possible for years. Health problems have kept her from being part of these last few steps, but we want to make sure everyone knows how much we appreciate the effort she put into getting us started. We look forward to her speedy recovery and return!

Information is available for all public Pulaski court cases from January 1996 forward. 

To start looking up information, go to http://www.doxpop.com and click on the "Sign up now!" link or call our offices at 866-369-7671 to learn more.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

E-filing: Effective 1/1/18 the State Court is doing away with the public service contacts that each attorney sets up and maintains for themselves.

What you need to know

  • When this change is made, A single public service contact will be set up for every attorney based on the email address currently found in the roll of attorneys. (Is yours current? Check here.)
  • You will not be able to replace or detach this public service contact if it is attached to a case by someone else.
  • The public service contact(s) that you have set up for yourself currently won't go away. They will just become "private", meaning only you or someone in your firm can attach them to cases. This means you can still use those contacts to direct service to a different email address or take advantage of the administrative copies. 
  • The advantage of this change is that you will always be able to find a service contact for any attorney registered to e-file in the State.
  • The disadvantage is that others may attach the public service contact that the State set up for you to a case. Since you can't directly edit that contact or set up administrative copies on it, you may have less control over how you receive service.

What happens to the contacts currently on the Public Service List?

All contacts currently on the Public Service List will be made private, but will not be changed in any other way:
  • They will not be deleted from your e-filing accounts. You still control these contacts in every way except that you can't make them public.
  • They will still be attached to any cases where they were previously attached to.
  • They will still be available for you or anyone in your firm to attach to any cases in the future.

Strategies for managing your service as we see it:

Regardless of which approach you take, it is very important that you, or the person filing on your behalf be diligent about attaching your preferred service contact to every case as soon as possible to avoid others attaching your public service contact. 

Strategy 1: Use the private service contact that you control as your preferred service contact

Set up a private service contact, using any email address you choose and using the administrative copies feature to make sure your assistants receive copies.

  • You control the primary address used for this service contact.
  • You can set up an administrative copy list.
  • If someone attaches the State's public service contact to a case first, you’ll get the documents they file at the address from the roll of attorneys, so you must still monitor that address carefully.
  • You can’t detach the public service contact from a case if someone else has added it, so even if you have attached your private contact, you may get a duplicate copy of service through the public contact.
How to do it:
  • For new cases, make sure you always specify which service contact you want to be attached to the case when it is accepted.
  • For existing cases, Doxpop has a tool that allows you to attach your preferred private service contact to every open (pending) case where you are the attorney of record. That prevents people from adding the wrong contact to a case that has been dormant for a while. Learn more here.

Strategy 2: Use the State's public service contact as your preferred service contact

Let the contact set up by the State be your only contact and then use filters/rules in your email reader to make sure copies get distributed to your assistants as needed.

  • Eliminates duplicates in the Public Service Contact list.
  • Works well alongside similar tools for handling orders.
  • Requires a search of the public list to attach to each case.
  • Unable to set the service contact to automatically attach to a new case once accepted. 
  • Requires a full-featured email reader such as Gmail (free) or Outlook (part of MSOffice suite.)
  • Requires learning how to use filters & rules. Don't worry we can help! Check out our resources here and contact Doxpop Customer Support for assistance. 
How to do it:
  • Set up filters or rules in your email to distribute service to the right people in your office.
  • You must still remember to make sure you attach the service contact to your cases. If you let others do it for you, you will have no way to detach yourself when you file a withdrawal.
Whatever you choose, Doxpop is always here to help walk you through these changes. If you have any questions contact support@doxpop.com or call us at 1-866-369-7671. 

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

The importance of pro bono work - Interview with Chuck Dunlap, Executive Director of Indiana State Bar Association, and Ray Ontko, President of Doxpop.

This year, Doxpop is providing a $7500 challenge match to encourage our community to donate to the Whitewater Valley Pro Bono Association. Take a moment to listen to Phil Quinn's interview with Chuck Dunlap and Ray Ontko below, and then go to the pro bono association's website to make a donation.

Listen on soundcloud:


Monday, December 4, 2017

Did the e-filing downtime on Monday caused you to miss a deadline? Here's what to do:

Beginning at roughly 2PM on Monday, December 4, the State's side of the Indiana e-filing system was down for an extended period, thus preventing users from e-filing. At 3PM, we received confirmation of the outage from the Office of Judicial Administration. At 5:30 PM, the system became available again.

If you are reading this before midnight on 12/4 and have a deadline today, the simplest course is to just go ahead and submit your filing now to avoid the need to file a motion for an extension.

If it is now too late, and this situation caused you to miss a deadline, take a look at Trial Rule 86(N)(1), which essentially provides for a one-day extension when an lengthy e-filing system outage prevents filers from meeting a deadline.

We expect that the Trial Courts will all be aware of the scope and timing of this statewide outage via direct communication from Trial Court Technology. However, if the court you are working with requires a statement from Doxpop to attach as an exhibit to the motion described in TR 86(N)(1)(d), please let us know and we'll be happy to supply documentation in support of your motion. (Simply attaching a screen print of this blog post may be sufficient.)

On the appellate side, take a look at Rule 68(M)(1)(d), which appears to be nearly identical to the Trial Court rule on this topic.

Managing service contacts and preparing for new rules.

Last week, Doxpop added new tools for management of service contacts in batches to our e-filing account administration screen.

The first tool allows you to attach the service contact you specify to every open (pending) case where you or the attorney you work for is an attorney of record. This tool is important for two reasons:
  1. Currently, when each county begins e-filing, none of your old (pre-e-filing) cases for that county will have your service contact attached. It is a hassle to attach those contacts manually, so our tools will allow you to automatically attach the service contact you specify to every case where you (or the attorney you work for) is the attorney of record for an open (pending) case. This lets you hit the ground running in every county.
  2. At the first of the year, Trial Court Technology has notified us that they intend to do away with public contacts managed by private firms. The only public contacts will be one for each attorney created based on the information found in the roll of attorneys. This change means that if you want to control how e-service occurs for your cases, you will need to make sure you attached your preferred private contact (that you control) before another person attaches the public contact that you don't control. 

The second two tools allow you to detach a service contact from all cases where it appears, or replace a service contact with a new one. This is useful in situations where an attorney is closing up shop or moving to a new firm.

We'll post more guidance soon about the change in public/private service contacts that will occur on January 1. In the meantime, take a look at these new tools, and in particular, start using the first tool to make your work easier as each new county comes online.

Our support staff has put together a brief (under 3 minute) video to demonstrate how these tools work:

And here is where you will find the new tools:

Please don't hesitate to give us a call at 866-369-7671 or email support@doxpop.com if you have questions about how to use these new tools. 

If you want to make sure you never miss an important blog post, please subscribe using the "Follow By Email" tool found near the top on the right side of this blog.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Need help with an urgent matter over the long Thanksgiving weekend? Here's how to reach us.

At Thanksgiving, one of the blessings we are most thankful for is our employees, who cheerfully spend their working days solving problems for other people. They are a joy to work with.

One way we express our gratitude is to make sure our support team enjoys some uninterrupted time with family & friends during holidays.

However, we understand that sometimes you have to deal with an emergency situation during holidays, and four days is a long time to go without support, so here's how to get help between 5PM on 11/22 and 8AM on 11/27:

We will not be monitoring phone lines, so you must use email. One of our managers will be checking email at 10AM, 2PM and 6PM every day. If you've got a real emergency, please send an email to support@doxpop.com that contains a brief description of the problem and phone number we can call to reach you.

Please be respectful when using this option. It's for real emergencies that can't wait until Monday morning.

We hope you have a great holiday and also get to spend some quality time with the people you enjoy. (Or some quiet time with a book if you're an introvert.)

Monday, November 13, 2017

The Latest (and best!) clarification on paying for Sheriff's service fees.

On November 2nd, I posted some information on Sheriff's service fees that wasn't right. I'm sorry!

Clerk Debra Walker from Henry County And Laura Martin, President of the Clerk's Association helpfully called to explain the preferred process to me. Here is how the Clerks' Association and the Sheriffs' Association want you to handle paying fees for civil service:

No matter where service is to occur or how many defendants or counties are involved, you always pay the Sheriff's civil service fee to the clerk of the county you are filing the case in.  No exceptions.

A few details:
  • If you are filing in a county that e-files, the preferred method for paying the clerk is through the e-filing system.
  • If you are filing in a county that doesn't use e-filing yet, then write your check to the Clerk (not the Sheriff.)
  • If you forgot to add the Sheriff's service fee when e-filing, the case won't be rejected, and there is no way to pay it later via e-filing. If that happens to you, just write a check to the Clerk of the county you filed that case in.
In some counties, the Sheriff will require proof that the payment occurred. Here's how you provide that:

  • If you paid via e-filing: Attach the first emailed "Notice of Electronic Filing" that you receive showing the fee breakdown and the "Notice of Acceptance" to the front of the packet of documents you deliver to the Sheriff for service. The first email shows the fee and the second one confirms the case number and acceptance.
  • If you already paid via check at the clerk's office: Attach the receipt from the clerk's office.
  • If you haven't paid yet, and service is to occur in the same county that the case is filed in: Make the check out to the clerk and send it along with the documents to the Sheriff. The Sheriff will hand off the check to the clerk, but can process the papers right away because the payment was noted.
  • If you haven't paid yet and service is in a different county from the one you filed the case in, you will have to pay the clerk in the county of filing first, and then attach the receipt for that payment. (Yes, this results in a delay- that's why you really ought to pay at the time of filing, and do it via e-filing.)