Friday, December 19, 2014

Are Doxpop Recorders protected from unauthorized access to documents?

We have been reading with interest The Indiana Law Blog's coverage of the Federal cases involving several Indiana Recorders and LPS Real Estate Data Solutions (now Black Knight Financial Services.)

In brief, at least two Recorders and Fidlar Technologies, the company that supplies indexing software and remote access services to the affected Recorders, are suing LPS for failing to pay copy fees per their agreement with the Recorders. (Details in ILB posts from: Dec 10th, Dec 16th, and Dec 18th.)

This is a big deal for Indiana Recorders. Indiana statutes require that Recorders collect a $1/page fee when they supply a copy of a document to the public. Recorders depend on this revenue to fund part of their office, thereby reducing local tax burdens. The statutes also forbid recipients of copies from re-selling them, thus preserving the income stream for the Recorders. That means Recorders must keep a tight rein on access, so they take a dim view of those who don't follow the rules or take care to protect their income.

Doxpop provides an online access service very similar to Fidlar's for 33 Indiana Recorders. Fidlar's business is similar enough to ours that we become alarmed when someone abuses them. We could be the next target, so we take this seriously. Although we think we've got a better approach to security, we are also keenly aware that nobody is perfect. The rest of this post explains why we are not vulnerable to the specific exploit LPS used, but please don't take it as an assertion that our security is perfect. The most important security tool is humility.

Several of the Recorders Doxpop partners with have asked us to look over the lawsuit and make sure they are not at risk for the same method of stealing through our service. The short answer is No, they are not at risk.

There are two reasons:
  • First, there is protection in our system architecture. Based on the statements in the lawsuit, it appears that LPS was supplied with software that counted the number of copies on the LPS end of the Internet connection, and then reported back the totals. Fidlar alleges that LPS mimicked that program's Internet requests to retrieve thousands of documents without reporting the transactions. Doxpop takes a different approach. We count the copies as they leave the server on our end of the connection. It's like the difference between the electric company reading a meter on the outside of a house themselves or putting the meter inside the house & asking the customer to report the readings. We keep the metering on our side of the wall.
  • Second, there is legal protection. Doxpop executes a contract with each Recorder we work with that makes us responsible for paying all copy fees for documents obtained through our service. If this had happened to one of our partner Recorders, we'd have paid the Recorder in full for all fees due, and it would be up to us to go after LPS for our losses. This is a simple fix that every county should consider implementing immediately. A good vendor should be willing to protect their local government partners from loss. (That's also what keeps us watchful; We'll be the losers if we screw up.)

Nobody knows what the next exploit might be, but we believe this two-pronged approach of taking care to prevent breaches and then additionally taking responsibility ourselves if a breach occurs is the right way to protect the public officials we work with from whatever the future holds.
  

Monday, December 8, 2014

Johnson County Converts to Odyssey- Your Doxpop Access is Unaffected.

Over the last weekend (December 6-7), the Courts in Johnson County converted to the Odyssey case tracking system, this means their Case Management System is now administered by JTAC and all data stored in Indianapolis.

This move does not affect Doxpop users because Doxpop buys access to a real-time feed of court data from the Odyssey system from the Division of State Court Administration. Your access to Johnson court information through Doxpop 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 Johnson 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 every hour, 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 January 12th. After the 12th, we'll be back to normal.
Tax warrants are not stored on the Odyssey system, and thus from this point forward, if you are seeking tax warrants, you will need to either find those by visiting the clerk's office or by subscribing to an on-line service offered by the State Court Administration.

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 JTAC 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 JTAC not make that information available to us. If this information is important to you, please encourage the clerks you work with to tell JTAC 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.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Pulaski County Deeds now linked directly to GIS Maps

The Recorder's office in Pulaski County has entered information that allows Doxpop to provide direct links to the county GIS system from recently recorded deeds.

The map link appears to the right of the legal description in the index details for recorded deeds:


After following the map link, you can then navigate to tax and assessment information with one click within the GIS system.

Please thank the folks in the Pulaski Recorder's office for making this useful feature possible! They have to do a little extra work on each deed, but it makes your research much simpler.

Pulaski joins several other Recorders that provide this feature through Doxpop. Other counties that provide the GIS interface include:

  • Brown
  • Dearborn
  • Decatur
  • Franklin
  • Hancock
  • Morgan
  • Ohio
  • Randolph
  • Shelby
  • Union
  • Vermillion
  • Wayne

Fayette County moves to different case tracking system. Doxpop users unaffected.

Over the last weekend, the Courts in Fayette County moved 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 Fayette court information will not be interrupted during the 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 Fayette 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 November 11th. After the 11th, 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 JTAC 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 JTAC not make that information available to us. If this information is important to you, please encourage the clerks you work with to tell JTAC 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.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Problem with Morgan County Circuit Court Cases. (Will be fixed by 9/19)

A recent bulk file received from the State Court Administration's JTAC group omitted cases from Morgan Circuit court, and applying this file to replace our current data resulted in the deletion of all active cases in Morgan Circuit Court. Until the cases are restored, any search depending on data from this court will be incomplete.

Inactive cases and information on actions prior to August 1 for active cases remain available, and no other court was affected by this problem.

A sharp-eyed user reported the problem yesterday. We notified the folks at JTAC early in the afternoon, and they are sending the missing cases right now. Everyone involved responded with admirable speed. It will take several hours for the information to load, but we can confidently predict that the process will complete by tomorrow morning (9/19/14) at the latest.

Users who have watches on cases in Morgan Circuit Court or any other search "watch" that would be triggered by a reload of this court's data may receive spurious notifications due to the reload.

Apologies to our users for any inconvenience this may have caused. We do our very best to provide you with uninterrupted access to current information, but sometimes occurrences outside of our organization create interruptions that we can't prevent.

If you have any questions please don't hesitate to call our office at 866-369-7671 or eMail support@doxpop.com.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Sorting now retained when returning to results lists.

A few months ago, Doxpop released a feature that allowed users to re-sort their search results on any column by clicking on the up/down arrows in the heading.

Although this was a great feature, our users quickly pointed out that it had a big flaw... The list always reverted to the default order when returning to it after viewing results, requiring the user to re-sort every time after viewing details. After a collective "D'oh!" moment, we sent a request to fix this off to the programmers.

This problem has now been fixed, so you can really start making good use of the column sorting feature!

Note also that there's a new "reset sorting" link in the upper right corner. That's there in case you want to get back to the original default sorting order.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Monroe County Recorder Joins Doxpop!

It has been a long journey! The Monroe County Courts were the first county office to partner with Doxpop, so it is exciting to finally add the Monroe County Recorder's Office to our family of Doxpop local government partners.

This has been a bittersweet process for us because we started working with Jim Fielder to make Recorded Documents available online. We are grateful to Jeff Ellington for continuing to move this project forward after Jim passed away in May. Jeff Ellington brought this project to completion, but it is also a legacy for Jim Fielder. We appreciate both of these far-sighted leaders.

Both the index and images for documents filed after January 1, 1991 are now available on the Doxpop web site. Basic information is available at no cost. Detailed information and document images are available as a fee-based service for professional users.

This new service is being provided by the County Recorder's Office at no cost to the taxpayers of Monroe County. The access provided by this service is in addition to the public access already provided at the Recorder's Office.

Doxpop and the Recorder will be providing a training session for the public in the next few weeks. Please contact Jeff Ellington, Monroe County Recorder for details. Jeff Ellington may be reached at (812) -349-2520.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Pulaski County Recorder Joins Doxpop

Doxpop is pleased to announce that the Pulaski County Recorder is now providing
access to Pulaski County's Recorded documents through Doxpop.

The index to documents and document images filed in January, 1994 or later are now
available on-line at http://www.doxpop.com. Basic information about the documents is
available at no cost. Detailed information and documents images are available as a fee-
based service.

In addition, The Recorder's Office now offers a free property watch service to our
community. Any person may sign up at http://watch.doxpop.com to set a watch on his or
her property and name. Participants are notified via email any time a document is filed
that references the watched property or name.

Both of these services have been provided without any use of public funding (no use of
tax money.) The access provided by these services is in addition to the public access
already provided at the courthouse.

For additional information, contact Christi at the Recorder's Office, (574) 946-3844 or
Nick Fankhauser at Doxpop, LLC; (765) 373-9245; nickf@doxpop.com.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Vanderburgh moves to Odyssey - Access for Doxpop users is unaffected.

Vanderburgh County moved their court case information to the Odyssey system over the labor day weekend. This move does not significantly affect Doxpop users because Doxpop buys access from JTAC to a real-time feed of court data from the Odyssey system. Our customers' access to Vanderburgh court information will not be interrupted during the transition.
During the next month, we will maintain all of the old information, but as new cases are filed, or existing cases updated on the Odyssey system, we will add those as well. After a month, we'll merge the data so that all of the old information is completely replaced with the version found on the new system.

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 for some cases. In particular:
  • If you use the personal calendar feature, you will see two colors for Vanderburgh 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 several times 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 until things are 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 JTAC 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 JTAC not make that information available to us. If this information is important to you, please encourage the clerks you work with to tell JTAC 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.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Morgan County moves to Odyssey. Doxpop users (mostly!) unaffected.

Recently the Courts in Morgan County moved to the Odyssey system. For us, the complete migration takes quite a bit of effort & expense, and won't be finished until Sept 8th. However, we work hard to make sure you don't lose access to any information during that time.

This move does not significantly affect Doxpop users because Doxpop buys access from JTAC to a real-time feed of court data from the Odyssey system. Our customers' access to Morgan court information will not be interrupted during the 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, you will see two colors for Morgan 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 Sept 8th. After the 8th, 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 JTAC 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 JTAC not make that information available to us. If this information is important to you, please encourage the clerks you work with to tell JTAC 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.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Did the Russian cyber gang get my Doxpop password?

You may have seen recent news articles about hackers in Russia that have compromised over 400,000 websites to obtain as many as 4.5 billion usernames and passwords for as many as 1.2 billion distinct users.

We do not have reason to believe that the Doxpop website was compromised because Doxpop designs and regularly tests its software to avoid the particular vulnerability (known as "SQL injection") exploited by the group.

However, if you use the same password for multiple websites, we recommend that you change your Doxpop password because it may have been compromised at a less secure web site. We also recommend that you not use the same password on multiple websites. You can change your Doxpop password by clicking on the "my doxpop" tab and selecting "Change Password" near the bottom of the side menu.

Doxpop is a careful steward of the information entrusted to us by our users. We are grateful for that trust and will keep you informed of any further developments.

Thank you for using Doxpop!

Ray Ontko, President

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Great customer service is easy! (So why doesn't every company do it?)

Excellent customer service is one of our goals at Doxpop, and our customers regularly verify that we're doing a great job.

What's puzzling to us is that it's so easy to provide great service, but so few companies do it. All we have to do is give our employees permission to care about you. I don't believe anybody goes to work in the morning thinking "I'll act like a jerk today!", but many companies create an environment where their representatives are forced to argue or postpone instead of just saying "OK, I'll help you with that."

So why is this on my mind today? Have a listen to this sad/funny service call:

http://www.theverge.com/2014/7/15/5901057/comcast-call-cancel-service-ryan-block

Please, if we ever do anything like this to you, call me directly at 765-373-9245 and I'll personally take care of you! (Or just comment below about your experience with our service.)

Friday, July 11, 2014

Ohio County Courts Join Doxpop

Doxpop is pleased to welcome Ohio County to the family of Courts, Clerks and Recorders providing easy access to public records via Doxpop.

People wishing to access public court cases on-line may access the information at http://www.doxpop.com. This web site is designed primarily to serve attorneys and other professionals who use court information with fee-based services, but it also provides low-volume access to the general public at no cost.  

Doxpop currently provides on-line access to court information in 88 Indiana counties. 

Doxpop is provided without any use of public funding or tax money. 

For additional information, contact Annie Jo Jackson at the Clerk's Office, (812) 438-2610 or Nick Fankhauser at Doxpop, LLC; (765) 373-9245.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Updates off for many CSI Counties on June 30th; Some excess notifications generated.

In preparation for statute changes taking effect on July 1, mass updates were done in all counties using the CSI JTS case management system over the weekend of June 28th & 29th.

These updates caused some incorrect notifications of minute entry changes on watched cases, for which we apologize!

The updates also caused a log-jam in our own system as Doxpop attempted to process the flood of changes. To resolve this problem, we have taken the CSI counties offline while we process the excess transactions in each. As each county is cleaned up, we will bring it back online, and the case data will be re-synced with the county system.

What this means for our users is :

  1. The data for many counties will be "stale" for most of today, with the information being current only as of the end of June 27th (Friday night.) Take note of the "freshness date" in the upper left corner of each case detail record to see if the case you are viewing is affected.
  2. If you received many minute entry notifications over the weekend, they may be safely ignored. However, notifications received on Friday or after Noon today are valid.
Apologies for the inconvenience this will cause! Although we were not prepared for these updates, we feel confident we can get everything back to normal during the course of the next 24 hours... It will just be a bit slow because we are taking care to ensure that no actual changes to the data you care about are lost in the process.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

A better recorded document result page

Today Doxpop is releasing several changes to our recorded document search that we think you'll like. Here is what changed:

  1. A cleaner format, designed to work with wider screens.
  2. No document is presented more than once. Previously, if a search for a partial name matched two parties, the document would be displayed once for each matching party. Now, there are no duplicates.
  3. More documents returned. Previously you were limited to 200 results for each search. Now up to 500 results can be displayed.
  4. Sorting! You can reorder the results by clicking at the top of any column. (Note however, that if more than 500 results are returned, sorting can't be used









Thursday, June 5, 2014

Supporting the public with public information

At a recent meeting of the the Judicial Technology Oversight Commission, Doxpop fielded a question from a committee member who asked if  "Joe Public" could use Doxpop for free.

The answer is "yes!"

We call our free service the "Informed Citizen" account, but maybe we should change the name to the "Joe Public" account, because (when you include Josephine) that's exactly who we had in mind.

This free account has been a hit, and since we've introduced it, people have signed up for 33,000 "Joe Public" accounts. Each week more than14,000 searches are done using these accounts. The free account level includes access to all of our features, including unlimited support over the phone or eMail to make sure you find what you need. One commonly used feature is the ability to "save" a case, set an alert on it, and come back to it any number of times in the future - all for free.

It only takes a minute to get started with a free account-

Sign up at this page: https://www.doxpop.com/prod/common/NewSubscription. Make sure you select the plan that costs $0/month.

We were surprised that a member of the Judicial Technology Oversight Commission didn't know about this service, but it underscores the need for us to spread the word, so please help us encourage people to make use of Doxpop's free service by sharing this post with your friends.


Thursday, May 29, 2014

Memories of Jim Fielder.

Jim Fielder was one of the first clerks we worked with when Doxpop was just getting started. We couldn't have had a better introduction to the hardworking and kind people who choose a life of service in county government.

In the past 11 years, no visit to Monroe County has been complete without a visit to Jim's office, either as Clerk, or later, as Recorder. It didn't matter whether we actually had any business to conduct- We would go see him for the selfish reason that he would always make the day better. If we went into his office feeling cynical about government, we would leave feeling hopeful and reminded that no matter what mischief the national politicians have been up to, the folks who work quietly in the county courthouses keep the services we really need working.

The poet Kenneth Rexroth could have had Jim Fielder in mind when he wrote "The mature man lives quietly, does good privately, assumes personal responsibility for his actions, treats others with friendliness and courtesy, finds mischief boring and keeps out of it. Without this hidden conspiracy of good will, society would not endure an hour."

Anyone who has seen Jim's impish smile knows he was part of the conspiracy of good will.

I don't know how long they'll leave the picture up, but this image from the Herald Times captures his spirit well.

It's also worth taking a moment to read this remembrance from Rachel Bunn at the Herald Times. When I went looking for the picture link above, it was comforting to find several articles like this one, eulogizing Jim as a courageous and honest public servant.



Thursday, May 22, 2014

What the document image links do.

We have recently changed the labels on the links you use to get to recorded document images. Here are the new labels, and what they mean:


The View link is only available for counties where you have purchased access to the "unlimited view" feature. It will take you to a full-sized document image that you may view, but not print.

Preview is the link you will use most often. It is available in all counties, and takes you to the "sliding window pane" viewer that allows you to look at any portion of  the document without viewing the entire page. This is also the link you should follow if you want to purchase one or more pages of the document.

The Printable link will appear next to a document if you have already purchased one or more pages through the "preview" link. This link will take you to a printable version of the pages you previously purchased.

As always, if you have any questions, give us a call at 866-369-7671 or eMail support@doxpop.com if you have any questions. Friendly people are standing by to help!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Welcome aboard, Carroll County!

Today, Doxpop welcomes the Carroll County Recorder's Office to our network of local government partners. Carroll County is the 31st Recorder's office we've worked with, and they pushed our count of Recorded Documents available through Doxpop to over ten million! 

Carroll County's recorded document index dates back to January 1, 1994, with images of most documents scanned and available in digital form from that date forward as well. People seeking on-line access to Carroll County's information can find it at http://www.doxpop.com.

In addition to making the Recorded Documents in her office available online, Recorder Mary Ann Burton is now providing the Doxpop Property Watch Service to residents of Carroll County at no cost. The Property Watch service allows anyone to set a watch on her or his name and property that provides notification when a document is filed that references either. The Property Watch service may be found at http://watch.doxpop.com.

We've enjoyed working with Marry Ann and her first Deputy, Teresa as we added their county. Every new county we work with expands our circle of friends and makes coming to work each day even more fun!



Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Carroll County's Recorded Documents will be available on Doxpop soon.


Julie and Nick stopped by the Carroll County Courthouse today in Delphi for a meeting with the Commissioners and Mary Ann Burton, Recorder. The Commissioner's approved our contract, so you can look forward to Carroll County Documents being available some time next week. 


Carroll County has a beautifully maintained courthouse with a 3-story rotunda topped by a stained glass skylight.



This was an early morning trip, so we celebrated with breakfast at the Stonehouse Restaurant and Bakery before leaving Delphi. Next time you're in Delphi, take the time to visit this restaurant. At first glance, it looks like an old drugstore with a soda counter. However, it turns out that the history of this building is a bit less wholesome, as it was a bar & bordello back in the day. When you go over for a closer look at the "soda counter", you'll realize that it's actually a massive bar made out of a single slab of walnut about 20 feet long and two feet wide.  The food and service was excellent!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Today is Information Day

Did you know that Today, April 11 (411), is Information Day? At Doxpop, our mission is to help provide you with access to the most accurate public information available. To celebrate, we are offering a special promotion over on our Facebook page today. Share with us a fun fact or piece of information, and we'll add 10 free searches to your account!

Head over to www.facebook.com/doxpop, or leave a comment here to chat with us.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Today is "Be Kind To Lawyers Day".

We suspect this holiday was created by those sneaky florists or greeting card companies, but we're always ready for an excuse to celebrate and use up the leftovers from yesterday's celebration of the 81st anniversary of the effective date of the Cullen-Harrison act.


So... in honor of "Be Kind to Lawyers Day", Doxpop is doing the following:

  • During the day of April 8th, We'll add 20 free searches to the account of any attorney or law firm that comments on this post or emails us at support@doxpop.com.
  • If you don't already have a Doxpop account, convince us that you're a lawyer, and we'll set you up with a free account that's good for 60 free searches during the next month (Yes, that's a nod toward "National Thinly-Veiled Marketing Day", but you might as well take advantage of the opportunity.)
  • We promise to cease and desist from telling lawyer jokes for one day on or about April 8, 2014.
From a more serious perspective, we really do appreciate the attorneys we work with. People love to poke fun at attorneys, but we're in the camp that thinks a confrontation in a courtroom is a vast improvement over a fistfight (or worse) in the street.

The practice of law can get ugly sometimes, but we must never forget that the alternative is much uglier.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The six steps to license reinstatement following a suspension for non-payment.

Doxpop's main business is providing on-line access to Indiana Court information, but we also provide an on-line payment service for citations that currently covers 27 Indiana Counties.

For most people, the process is simple. They pay their ticket and get on with their lives (hopefully with less speed & more care.)

However, we often work with people who neglected a ticket for too long and now have a license suspension. These people are in a world of hurt because this can't be fixed in one day or even a few days. However, paying via Doxpop is usually the fastest way to get the process started. Over the years, we've learned something about the process. Here's how it works, and a few key pieces of information to help you along the way:

First, make sure you acknowledge the whole problem. This process is straightforward for a single overdue ticket, but if you've got a more complicated situation, you should really be looking for an attorney instead of an on-line payment service.

1) When you've decided to pay, get it done quickly.
You can either pay your ticket at the clerk's office with cash, certified check, or money order, or you can use Doxpop's Fine Payment Service to pay it on-line. Payments through Doxpop are sent to the clerk's office and receipted on your case within 15 minutes, so we're usually the fastest method. Doxpop charges a convenience fee for our service, so if you are not in a hurry, you can save money by going straight to the clerk. If your citation is not filed in one of the counties we work with, you might be able to pay it through the State Court's payment site.

2) If you are in Indiana, wait one full business day.
All of the clerks we work with are excellent about reporting your payment to the BMV quickly. Depending on local business processes, all payments are reported either in the late afternoon or early morning following payment during a business day. These notices are sent electronically, so the BMV can process them automatically.

3) If you are outside of Indiana, the Indiana BMV will contact your State Motor Vehicle Agency.
As a general rule, State Motor Vehicle Agencies will not accept proof of payment from you or Doxpop. It is just too easy to fake these documents, so they only accept them if they come directly from another government agency. Currently, the Indiana BMV is processing payment information and notifying other States electronically in two working days, so if it is after day three, and the information has not appeared at your State Agency yet, call the Indiana BMV to find out what happened. Their number is 888-692-6841.

4) Whether you are in Indiana or elsewhere, you will need to get in touch with the BMV and pay a reinstatement fee to get your license back. In Indiana, you will find information on suspension and reinstatement on the BMV web site:  http://www.in.gov/bmv/2330.htm. You can call the Indiana BMV at 888-692-6841. Other contact information may be found at their web site: https://secure.in.gov/BMV/mybmv/Contact.aspx

5) In Indiana, you may also need to submit proof of insurance. The BMV will only accept this if it is sent directly from your insurance company, so plan for this in advance by contacting your agent to make sure they are prepared to submit this on your behalf.

6) Did we remember to say "Be Nice"? We know you need to be able to drive to work, and care about helping you get this taken care of quickly. However, you should prepare to be patient and kind to everyone you speak to. Even on their best day, nobody calls a Clerk's office or the BMV to compliment them or ask them to relax, so know in advance that grumpy and impatient won't make you stand out from the crowd.

Finally, please don't interpret any of what's been said above as legal advice. We are not attorneys, and we are only telling you the mechanics of how the accounting process works after you have already made a decision to pay the ticket. If you have a question about that decision, seek an attorney to advise you.

Friday, March 28, 2014

New Castle Courier Times prints nice article about Doxpop's Property Watch Service.

Following up on a recent public demonstration, the Courier Times in New Castle Indiana has published a nice article describing the property watch service that Doxpop provides at no cost to recorders who partner with us for their public access needs:

http://www.thecouriertimes.com/main.asp?SectionID=23&SubSectionID=45&ArticleID=286059

Doxpop's Property Watch Service may be found at http://watch.doxpop.com. The service allows people to set a watch for any documents filed in their local recorder's office that affect their property. The Doxpop Property Watch Service provides eMailed notification within 10 minutes of the time that the document is filed.

There is no cost to either the county or the users of the property watch service. This allows recorders to add a valuable service for their constituents without increased use of public funds.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Franklin County Converts to Odyssey

Franklin County has just made the switch to JTAC's Odyssey System for management of court cases. Luckily, Doxpop's service with the county should not be affected by this recent conversion. All Franklin County court records found on the state funded Odyssey site can also be found on Doxpop.  In addition, you are also able to utilize Doxpop's many features such as calendars, email alerts, and advanced searching with Franklin County court cases.

However, there are two changes you should be aware of:

1) Online payment for traffic infractions in Franklin County is no longer available through our services.

2) The other change is the lack of financial information that you would normally find in the case summary of other Doxpop partner courts. The Indiana Division of State Court Administration has informed us that the clerks using the Odyssey system prefer that financial information not be made public. The Clerks in the other counties we serve have decided that this is useful information that the public should have access to, so we're puzzled that only Clerks using Odyssey have decided not to share this information. If you think financial transactions are an important part of the public record, please ask the clerks you work with to contact the Division about making it available through Doxpop.