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 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 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.)

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!