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.)

Monday, November 6, 2017

Ripley County Courts move to Odyssey. Access to court records via Doxpop unaffected.

Over the weekend of November 4th/5th, the Ripley 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" for Ripley County Courts you will find two entries for each court until the merge is complete.
  • When you are doing searches, you will find two entries for active 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 first week of December, after that, we'll be back to normal.
Finally, one deficiency in the Odyssey system from our perspective 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 Court Technology add this to the Odyssey data feed. If this information is important to you, please encourage the clerks you work with to tell the Indiana Office of Judicial 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, November 3, 2017

Clarification on Sheriff Civil Service Fees

The text of this post has been removed because it was wrong. You'll find the corrected version here:

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

E-Filing: "Comments to Clerk" are gone! What happened to it?

Doxpop recently removed the "comments to clerk" area from the "Add Document" dialogue box in e-filing.

We learned that most clerks don't look at this area during the typical review process and believe that any feature that is not completely reliable and useful shouldn't be cluttering your work-space.

A more reliable approach to passing along comments for a particular document is to begin by sending the Clerk's office chocolate or other treats regularly and then call when you need help with a specific filing. Calls should be limited to one or less per each treat previously delivered, and it really helps to have your envelope number ready when you call so they can go straight to the filing in question.

Seriously, Clerk's office employees are always helpful, no delicious bribes are required.... But please don't overdo the calls, have the envelope number ready, and be sure to let them know they are appreciated!

Monday, October 2, 2017

Search full text of Recorded Documents!

Doxpop has been working to scan through the land records offered by our 42 County Recorder Partners to add tools that allow searching of document text, along with any text entered about that document, including full document types and notes or memo field entries.

This means that in addition to the search fields currently offered by our advanced search, you can add information that appears on the document itself. However, this new field is not limited only to the text of documents, you may also use it to search for additional document information that has been indexed on the document, such as a second party when the search results for a single party return too many records. Use this field on its own with a collection of relevant words, or in conjunction with our many advanced search fields.

There are several ways we expect this to be helpful for you. Have you ever struggled to search for:

  • specific document types not listed in the dropdown?
  • multiple names on one document?
  • multiple legal descriptions on one document?
  • personal representative or estate records?

Now you can use this additional field to capture additional information and narrow your results.

A snippet of the matching text is included with the search results, along with the document record.

Search for exact document types to narrow your search quickly.

Please note that OCR scanning technology is limited. We can only scan and search documents that are legible to the computer and scanned reasonably well, which means that most historical documents won't return good results this way. But keep in mind that this new field is still using all available data for every document, so it can still add value in this way.

If you have a specific use for this field, please comment here or share it with us! We'd love to know how our customers are using this field and how to make it better!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Welcome to the Wells County Recorder!

Please join us in welcoming Carolyn Bertsch and the Well's County Recorder's Office to Doxpop's online access system!

Wells County is our 42nd Recorder to come online

The Wells County Recorder's Office has transitioned to a new, local software package that allows us to add them to the Doxpop Public Access System. Having now completed that technical conversion, they are ready to increase their public access offerings by making these land records available 24/7.

Scanned images are available to view and purchase, along with a searchable index for all documents filed since January 2006. Additional index records available beyond that date will have images soon. The Recorder's Office is hoping to scan and digitize many more historical documents, so be on the lookout for more data to be added!

Anyone wishing to look up recorded documents on-line may visit to use the service. A low-volume search plan is available for free, with higher-volume subscriptions available to commercial users for a fee.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Proposed rule change would affect e-filing of probate cases.

The Indiana Judicial Branch website has just posted a number of proposed rule amendments on this page. 

Among them is a change to TR 86 that clarifies how wills are to be handled when e-filing, including the question of how long they must be retained.

The proposed change generally matches the process already used by many local courts, and from our point of view looks just fine.

Among many changes to Administrative Rule 9 are a couple of "clean-up" changes to the Notice of Exclusion from Public Access removing references to green paper. We'll make sure to post links to the new versions of those documents on this blog when they are approved.

The Court is soliciting feedback on the amendments until October 1.