Monday, December 19, 2016

Adding an attorney to a case while e-filing.

We have learned recently that Hendricks County will no longer add an attorney to a case when he or she files an appearance. They now depend on the e-filer to do that.

We are not yet aware whether other counties have adopted this policy, but since this was not an operation Doxpop previously supported, we scrambled to add this function for you. Here's how to use it:

When filing an appearance on an existing case, look in the section titled "New Case Parties/Attorneys" for the button that says "Add Attorney". Click on this button...


A dialog box will pop open that lists the parties. Find the party to be represented, and then use the drop-down menu labeled "Choose Attorney" to select the correct attorney from your firm...



The most common use of this function will be adding a single attorney to represent a previously unrepresented party. However, the system works fine for more complex situations. For instance:

  • You may add more than one attorney for any party.
  • If the party is currently unrepresented, you may specify which of the attorneys you are adding is the lead attorney.
  • You may add attorney(s) to more than one party, to cover situations where you represent multiple parties on the same case.
  • If a party already has an attorney, you may still add an additional attorney. Be aware that there is no option to designate the "lead" attorney in this situation. Rather, the existing lead attorney is listed as the "lead" until they are withdrawn. This may occur when you are taking over for another attorney, but the clerk/court has not yet processed that attorney's withdrawal.
Give us a call or email if you have any questions about this feature! support@doxpop.com or 866-369-7671.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Recorded Document Performance Improvements


Doxpop just released a change to our process for fetching information about Recorded Documents and displaying document images.

This change will increase the speed of the entire Recorded Document service. It's our early Christmas present to the folks who make heavy use of that section of our web site!

In addition, a few weeks ago we provided a new button to return directly to your most recent search results from any of the document viewing pages, avoiding the need to page back through the intervening pages with your browser's "back" button.

Give the improved Recorded Document section a spin and let us know if it makes your work easier!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Correction to proposed Order/Notice post.

A helpful person at the State's Court Technology office pointed out an error in my post of a few days ago (thank you!) I just went back and corrected it. Apologies to anyone who was confused by the first version.

To read the updated version, click here.

Here's what changed:

The main correction is that you *will* receive an accepted filing notification for a proposed order or notice, however, for most courts, it will not be a file-stamped copy. The lack of a file stamp often leads to concern about whether the document was really accepted and processed. Don't worry! if you received the accepted filing email, your document is on its way to the judge.

In addition, some emphasis and detail has been to the section on checking to make sure the attorney is appropriately entered as an attorney of record for the case. In the past, such an omission was annoying, but not a serious issue. However, in the era of electronic document delivery, not being entered correctly means you won't get your order.

Finally, although it was not added to the already lengthy previous post, here's the detail on why we assert that most counties will not return file-stamped orders instead of all:

  • Counties using the Odyssey case management system have a consistent process that includes passing the document along to the Judge without a timestamp on the face of the document. (The judge is still able to see both your submission timestamp and the acceptance timestamp on the case management system.)
  • The Counties using the CSI case management system apply the timestamp as a way to communicate the acceptance date to the judge in situations where she or he is viewing a paper copy. This may change as processes evolve, but for now, it may help you to know why this is different in some counties. Currently, this apply to Wells, Clay and White counties.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Knox County Begins E-Filing

The Knox County Courts have started allowing e-filing today, with subsequent filings becoming mandatory on February 10th, 2017.

Here are a couple of useful bits of info for folks filing in Knox County:

  • Orders and Notices will be delivered via the Odyssey E-Notice system. The sending domain for that system is "courts.in.gov", so make sure emails from that domain do not end up in your spam folder.


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. The "accepted filing" email for a proposed order or notice will contain a link to your document, but in most counties, it will not be file stamped, and it will never be a signed or approved document. The signed/approved version of the document will be delivered later, and through a different system.

Here are the details:

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 approval 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 and are processed from that point forward in the court's case management 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. Most 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 look at the top of the case details page to make sure the attorney is listed to the left of the party he or she represents. If the attorney is not there, 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? In some counties, 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 and have them help you correct it if necessary.
  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:

Allen:  Delivery via E-Notice system. Emails come from courts.in.gov; Postal mail if attorney's email not in their system.
Carroll: Delivery via E-Notice and postal mail [both "for now" as of 4/4/17]
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.
Delaware: Delivery via E-Notice system. Emails come from courts.in.gov.
Elkhart: Delivery via E-Notice system only. Emails come from courts.in.gov.
Floyd:  Delivery via E-Notice system. Emails come from courts.in.gov; Postal mail if attorney's email not in their system.
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.
JeffersonDelivery via E-Notice system. Emails come from courts.in.gov
Johnson:  Delivery via E-Notice system. Emails come from courts.in.gov; Postal mail if attorney's email not in their system.
Knox: Delivery via E-Notice system only. Emails come from courts.in.gov.
Kosciusko: Delivery via E-Notice system. Emails come from notify@kcgov.com.
LaGrange: Delivery via E-Notice system. Emails come from notify@lagrangecounty.org.
Marion:   Delivery via E-Notice system. Emails come from courts.in.gov.
Monroe Delivery via E-Notice system. Emails come from courts.in.gov.
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.
Wabash: Transitioning from postal mail to E-Notice. Totally E-Notice by 5/22/17. Emails come from notify@wabashcounty.in.gov.
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.

Additionally, Tax Warrants have been moved out of the court case management system as a part of this transition. Doxpop intends to release a new service next in February 2017 that allows complete statewide searching of tax warrants for all counties. In the interim, you can obtain this information at the clerk's office.

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.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Marion County Courts begin E-Filing... but not the Township Courts.

Marion County Circuit and Superior courts began e-filing on all cases except juvenile last Friday (10/28.) A couple of users have inquired about whether the Marion County Township Courts are included. They are not.

In addition, we have learned that Marion is one of the counties where payments to the Sheriff for civil process (service) must be made directly to the Sheriff when the document is delivered rather than paid via the e-filing system.

This has been noted on our list of counties and how they handle sheriff's civil process payments.




Friday, October 21, 2016

Doxpop is expanding the Customer Support Team

We are currently seeking a Customer Service Representative to join our amazing Customer Support Team! Read more details about the position and how to apply here: https://www.doxpop.com/us/careers/

Thursday, October 13, 2016

New: Quickly find Easements in Land Records

In order to respond to a request from some of our newer users, we've broken out documents that are or relate directly to Easements into their own document type. These documents were generally located under Miscellaneous in the past, and this change should make them easier to locate.

To see all of the document type options, visit our Advanced Search in the "recorded documents" or "register of deeds" tab and select the drop-down menu for Document Type. This will display all of our searchable document types.



For more help with Advanced Search, visit our help section or contact us.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Validation date added to Recorder (IN) and Register of Deeds (MI) records.

Doxpop has just added a "validation time" for Recorder and Register of Deeds offices. This is similar to what many offices call their "effective date". Here's how it works:

The validation time for each county office is the recording time of the most recent document that has been verified. This means all documents recorded at the same office before that time have been completely indexed and verified.

This works because the indexing system used by all Recorders and Registers that send their information to Doxpop is designed to ensure that documents are indexed and verified in the order they are received. The validation time allows researchers put the appropriate effective date on research they do through Doxpop.

  • When selecting a single-county region for any document search, you will find the validation time for the county displayed under the region box. 
  • When viewing the index details for any document, you will find the validation time for the source county of that document in the top left corner, next to the county name.
Here's an example:




If you have any questions about validation times, please feel free to give us a call or email.


Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Did e-filing just become mandatory in your county? Tips for getting started quickly...

This week, e-filing becomes mandatory for all filings on existing cases in Clark, Shelby, Harrison, Madison, Henry, Floyd and Hendricks County Courts.

If you are feeling unprepared, we can help.

First, you'll need to get your e-filing account set up correctly. At a minimum this means you need to have:
  • One or more E-Filing Users
  • One or more Attorney records.
  • A service contact record for each attorney in the firm
  • A credit card entered to pay any filing fees incurred.
The initial account setup is the most challenging part of e-filing, so if any of the components listed above are missing, we invite you to call us for help in this portion of the process. It's much easier to work on this together before you begin than to go back and correct problems. Give us a call at 866-369-7671 during office hours and we'll walk you through this part. We promise that a friendly and patient person will answer your call.

If you have looked at your e-filing account administration page and all of the components listed above are in place, you are ready to begin. It may help to briefly review our videos demonstrating a filing on an existing case and filing a new case:







Of course, you should always feel free to give us a call if you'd like someone on the phone to walk you through the process the first couple of times. We are happy to help. 

Call us at 866-369-7671.

Monday, August 22, 2016

E-Filing: Restrictions on document dimensions removed. (But you still need to use Letter size!)

Previously, Doxpop rejected documents larger than 8-1/2 X 11 inches to prevent filings that don't conform to the requirements of Indiana Administrative Rule 11.

Now, we have learned that the clerks will not reject any filing due to size, so for now, we have removed the rejection based on size and in the coming weeks will be replacing it with a warning so you will know if you might be filing a non-confirming document, but are not blocked from doing so.

Why would we want to allow non-conforming documents through? A couple of good reasons:

  • Documents that are just a tiny bit too large due to skewed scanning don't really present a big problem to the courts, so within reasonable limits "close enough" applies.
  • For Trial Courts. AR 11 allows larger documents to be attached as exhibits. This includes wills created before 1/1/1992.

Paying the Sheriff's fees in new e-filing counties

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

In Rush County, payments should be made through the e-filing system.

In Cass, Franklin, Jackson and Union counties, 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, August 1, 2016

Welcome to the Bay County, Michigan Register of Deeds.

This week we are adding our first Michigan County to Doxpop.

Brandon Krause, the Register of Deeds for Bay County, Michigan has selected Doxpop to provide on-line access to the documents recorded in his office.

We are awaiting official confirmation of how far back records go. Based on record counts, it appears that complete indexes and images are available from 1973 forward. Brandon and his staff have been working on a significant back-scanning and indexing project, so there is an impressive amount of information available already (over 930,000 documents!) They are adding more history every week.

Use the buttons in the upper right corner of the screen to toggle between Michigan and Indiana. Your Doxpop subscription will work in either state, so there's no need to pay for any new services. The addition of Michigan just adds even more value to the subscription you already have.

Folks who are used to searching the Indiana Recorder records on Doxpop will find that the Michigan Register of Deeds records are similar.
  • The main difference is that the "Instrument Number" used in Indiana is replaced by "Liber/Page" in Michigan. This is nearly identical to the "Book/Page" designation used in older Indiana Records.
  • In the Advanced Search area, Corners become a searchable record in Michigan. This is used to locate the documentation for original or remonumented section corners as the basis of surveys.
Since this is Doxpop's first foray into Michigan, we may change a few details about the system as we gather feedback from early users, but of course our main feature of excellent customer service will remain the centerpiece as we expand our services.

As we move forward on this project, we will be quickly adding the Doxpop Property Watch service and later interfacing with the Bay County Geographical Information System to extend the services available in Bay County beyond those previously available.

Thanks to Brandon Krause and his staff for all of their help on this project. What a great team to work with! 






Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Appendices for appellate briefs should be filed as separate lead documents.

This morning we learned something new about appellate E-Filing.

Per a phone conversation with a staff member at the Court of Appeals, appendices should *not* be attached to the brief when e-filed, but rather, filed as lead documents.

This solves the problem of what to do when your brief plus all appendices exceeds the 35MB limit for an envelope. You just start a new envelope. (But make sure you have not exceeded the 20MB/volume limit for any given document.)

This differs from the advice found on page 19 of the E-filing User Guide found on the State Judiciary web site, so we'll notify them of this discrepancy and may have further clarification to add, but while we wait for more information, it made sense to give all of our friends the heads-up on this.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Perry County Courts move to Odyssey - Your access to Perry Courts through Doxpop is unaffected.

Over the weekend of July 16/17, the Perry 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 August, 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 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.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

'Tis Tippecanoe Tuesday!

Who says Tuesdays aren't exciting?

Today, we announce the addition of Tippecanoe County Court Case information to Doxpop's Service!

Doxpop pays the State Court Administration for a real-time data feed from counties using the Odyssey case management system, so when Tippecanoe converted to Odyssey recently. they were added to Doxpop as well.

Court case information available for Tippecanoe dates back to January of 1988, and includes all public case types.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Why do clerks still collect the certified mail fee from e-filers? It's complicated...

After viewing our last post, Richard Mann pointed out via twitter that another oddity in e-filing fees:
Although e-filers are now handling all service for initial filings, the clerks still charge the amounts built into the filing fee for certified mail to defendants (or additional defendants, depending on the case type.)

The reason is that although the court rules have changed, these fees are set by the legislature, and the legislature can't change their statutes until they convene for the 2017 session in January.

The court has indicated that they plan to ask the legislature to amend the statutes as soon as possible. Until that occurs, the clerks are forced by the law to collect the fees, so please don't gripe to them- It's not their fault!

Also, please don't make the mistake of assuming that you don't have to take care of certified mail service when you e-file just because these fees are charged. If you e-file, you are responsible for making sure initial service occurs, not the clerk.

Richard Mann regularly tweets about many topics and recently published a nice summary of how the recent rule changes affect attorneys. His twitter feed is one of the resources we use to keep an eye on interesting developments in Indiana law. Follow him at https://twitter.com/RAMattorneys.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

E-Filing: Paying the Sheriff for Civil Process. It varies by county!

Update, 7/1/17: On July 1, 2017, new legislation took effect, and the problem described below went away. Sheriff's service is now paid for through the e-filing system in all counties. You can find complete details on the changes that occurred on July 1st here.


On July 1 2016, Trial Rule 86 was changed, and among other things, now specifies that e-filers are responsible for delivering documents directly to sheriffs for service.

Doxpop recently learned that county clerks handle payment of sheriff's service fees for these documents differently depending on the county.

Some clerks have decided to have filers pay the sheriff directly by attaching payment to the document when you deliver it to the sheriff.

Some clerks have decided to have filers to pay sheriff's service fees electronically along with the case filing fee, and then deliver the document separately.

In all cases, please supply the Sheriff's civil process division with three copies of the document to be served. In situations where you pay the Sheriff directly, personal checks are generally not accepted, but business checks, certified checks, money orders or cash are accepted.

We understand that it is frustrating to have different policies in different counties, but please be patient with the clerks and use the method they specify. Like you, they are having to scramble to make e-filing work within the framework of long-standing business processes, and this particular issue is challenging because it involves several county offices and statutes that don't match existing procedures. In the long run, we expect a statewide policy will emerge. Until then, here's how to work smoothly with each county's systems:

Counties where you pay the sheriff directly:
  • Allen
  • Cass
  • Clay
  • Elkhart
  • Franklin
  • Hancock
  • Hamilton
  • Henry
  • Huntington
  • Jackson
  • LaGrange
  • Marion
  • Monroe
  • Shelby
  • Tippecanoe
  • Tipton
  • Union
  • Wabash
  • Wells
  • White
Counties where you pay the sheriff via the e-filing system:
  • Carroll
  • Clark
  • Floyd
  • Grant
  • Greene
  • Harrison
  • Hendricks
  • Jasper
  • Johnson
  • Knox
  • Kosciusko
  • Madison*
  • Morgan
  • Owen
  • Posey
  • Rush
  • Steuben
  • Vanderburgh
  • Washington
Counties where you can do it either way:
  • Jefferson
* Madison county is unusual. In Madison, no  sheriff's service fee is assessed for cases filed in a Madison County courts, but out-of county filers seeking service in Madison will need to pay the Sheriff directly.

If you are paying through the e-filing system, as you add documents to your envelope any document that Sheriff's service is available for will show an optional service area where you may add this fee:



Last update: 4/4/17



Friday, June 10, 2016

New E-Filing rules effective July 1 - Some Highlights.

On July 1, A new version of Trial Rule 86 will become effective and e-filling for all filings on existing cases will become mandatory in the Hamilton County and Appellate Courts  (You aren't required to initiate cases via e-filing yet.)

The significant changes to Trial Rule 86 focus on the process of service during electronic case initiation.

Currently (until June 30) you must provide a set of paper documents to the clerk within 3 days of initiating a case by filing the dame documents electronically. This allows the clerk to file stamp them and service then occurs in the traditional manner using those paper documents.

Beginning on July 1, when you initiate a case electronically, the clerk will accept the filing documents, create the case, and return a file-stamped copy of the summons(es) to you electronically. You are then responsible for printing those documents, completing service and certifying to the court that service has occurred.

When you create the summons(es), you must specify the intended method of service in each document. [86(G)(2)(a)], You may then use the file-stamped copy to provide service to all required parties using any appropriate method that complies with the rules found in Trial Rule 4.

Following service, the filer must provide the clerk with a Certificate of Issuance of Summons that includes the details of how each document was served:
  • For documents served via mail, provide the date of mailing, address of each party, and tracking number if using a return receipt service. [86(G)(2)(c)]
  • For documents served in person or via first class mail, If the respondent is cooperative, have her/him sign an Acknowledgement of Service. If the respondent refuses to sign, file an Affidavit of Service. [86(G)(2)(d)(ii)]
  • For documents served by leaving a copy at a residence, file an Affidavit of Service. [86(G)(2)(d)(iii)]
  • For documents served via sheriff or other government process server, file the Return of Service. [86(G)(2)(d)(iv)]
  • For documents served by publication, in addition to noting on the original summons that the method of service is publication, you must also attach an Affidavit for Service by Publication. Instruct the publisher to send the return to the clerk after the publication period has ended.
Of course, all of these certification documents should be filed electronically.

In addition to the changes related to initiating a new case and serving process, there are three pages that clarify minor issues and fill in a few blanks. These are the sort of changes that are more incremental than fundamental, but needed to be in writing.

A few less important clarifications are:

  • If you file a document with the wrong fees or for a nonexistent case number on a subsequent filing, it will be rejected and you have 72 working hours to correct the problem in order to have the filing considered submitted on the initial submission date. (Those two issues should never be a problem if you are using a reliable EFSP, because we fill in both values for you. This rule needs to exist, but in practice should never come into play.)
  • It is possible to make other mistakes that don't result in rejection, but need to be fixed. For instance, you might accidentally file the document on the wrong case. In that situation, the court will issue an order striking the document or allowing you to fix the problem and may (not will) give you 72 hours to cure the defect. (Subtext: unintentional errors can be fixed, but don't make a habit of being sloppy and don't try to game the system.)
  • If you decide to exclude a document or portion of a document from public access on an otherwise public case, you've got to point to the reason. You may do this by filing a notice of exclusion from public access as the lead document or, if the lead document is a redacted version, by clearly marking the areas where information is omitted and specifying the reason.
  • In situations where both a redacted (public) version and a confidential version are submitted, use a placeholder of equivalent length to replace the confidential information so the page numbering and other formatting is consistent on both versions.
  • Obviously, green paper is not an option for electronically filed documents. Less obviously, the replacement is to apply a header, stamp or label clearly stating "Confidential per AR9(G)" or "Excluded from Public Access per AR9(G)". Make sure the addition of that header doesn't make your page numbering inconsistent with the public version. 




Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Tippecanoe County Court Information will become available on Doxpop in early July

Tippecanoe County has completed a conversion from the CourtView case management system to the Odyssey system.

This means their public court information will become available on Doxpop in early July.

Currently, we are receiving new and updated cases from Tippecanoe, so you may see some cases begin to appear in your search results, but please be aware that dormant or "historical" cases will not become available until July. Folks doing checks for prior cases should not depend on Doxpop to have complete data from Tippecanoe until we announce the complete data load on this blog.

Stay tuned!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Doxpop's E-Filing system does not yet support filings on confidential cases. Here's why:

Update: The problem described below has been resolved to our satisfaction, and Doxpop now allows confidential filings of any type through our system, including:

  1. Initial filing of confidential cases.
  2. Subsequent filings on existing confidential cases.
  3. Filing of confidential documents on otherwise public cases.


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Recently the State Court Administration began allowing electronic filing on confidential cases through their system.

At least one eager Doxpop user tried to use our system for filing on confidential cases and was disappointed because our system doesn't support this function yet. We're sorry to dissappoint, and our users deserve an explanation when that happens.

In general, Doxpop tries to keep pace with the State Court on introducing new features, but in this situation, we are holding back because the rules have not been clearly communicated to EFSPs yet, and in one situation, the rules we are aware of create a conflict.

Because of the sensitivity of confidential cases, we will not offer this particular electronic filing feature until the rules are clear and without conflict.

Specifically, here are the outstanding questions we have so far:

1) How to identify existing confidential cases. We believe that any case where the caption has been replaced by the string '**Confidential**' is certainly confidential, but we have not yet received an answer to the question "If we don't see this string, are we safe in treating the case as public?"

2) What is the list of all case types designated as confidential? We believe based on experience that the complete list is MH, AD, JC, JD, JS, JT, JM and PO (With PO details being hidden in this context due to Federal law rather than State Court rule.) However, we haven't been able to locate a definitive list in Administrative Rule 9 or elsewhere, and we really need this in writing in order to proceed with confidence.

3) In addition to cases designated confidential due to their type, some cases of types that are typically public may be closed by order of the court. If an electronic filer is initiating a case in which the first action is to seek a confidential designation, how does the filer, through the EFSP, indicate to the clerk that details other than the filed documents must also be kept confidential pending the court's ruling?

4) When filing a document, every filer is required to designate the filing party. Since the names of all parties are hidden for confidential cases, the filer has no way of supplying this required information if more than one party has the same role. (For instance, if there are two petitioners- without names, how does the filer indicate which petitioner is doing the filing?)

As soon as we obtain clear answers to these questions, Doxpop will move to quickly provide this feature for our subscribers. In the meantime, please be patient with us as we exercise due diligence.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Oversized document fee rules changed. Let us know if you still have problems.

A couple of months ago, Doxpop started charging a $2 per page "pass-through" copy fee for oversized documents. (See below for what "pass-through" means)

This resulted in some complaints. We listened to them carefully and found that we agreed with many of the complaints, so with the assent of the Recorders, we have changed our approach to collecting oversized document fees. Here is the new rule:

  • For any document type except plat/survey, we only charge the oversized fee if the document was filed after 1/1/2004 and is larger than 10 X 16-1/2 inches. The date limit elminates documents that were scanned with older equipment that inflates the size, and the size limit allows plenty of margin beyond "legal size".
  • Any plats that exceed 10 X 16-1/2 inches will incur the oversized fee regardless of age.



More detail  on what "pass-through" means if you're interested: 

In the process of dealing with concerns about the copy fees, we learned that many Doxpop users don't understand that Doxpop doesn't keep this money. (If we did, we'd be rich!) Here's how copy fees work:

  • Every Indiana County Recorder's Office is required by state law to charge a copy fee of $1/page for documents legal size (8-1/2 X 14) and smaller. For larger documents, they must charge $2/page.
  • This fee is important because it funds a large part of the Recorder's Office. Without this revenue, taxes would increase.
  • Because Doxpop makes copies available to you online, Doxpop pays the recorders the same amount you would pay if you went to their office to obtain the document. This ensures that the taxpayers don't end up paying higher taxes to replace lost revenue due to the online service.

With two exceptions, Doxpop receives no revenue from the copy fees we charge. The two exceptions are:
  • The account level where Doxpop provides six searches per month at no cost. For these accounts, we charge $1 per page extra, because at these levels we have to cover significant credit card processing fees and support costs but have no income from search fees,
  • The lower volume paid accounts, where Doxpop charges less than $60/month in search fees. At these levels, we charge $0.35/page extra. In this situation, we still have to cover significant credit card fees and support costs, but the search fees help defray these expenses.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Delaware County converts to Odyssey. Doxpop users not affected by this change.

Over the last weekend, the Delaware 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 February, 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 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.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Benton County Joins the Family of Doxpop Recorders. Welcome!

This week, Doxpop is welcoming Jane Turner and her staff to the growing family of Recorders who make their documents available through Doxpop.

Benton County is our new record-holder for the most complete on-line index! Jane and her staff have complete indexes and images for all documents available through August 1970, providing the ability to look back 45 years. In addition, deed records are available as far back as 1944. That's an impressive achievement that few other Recorder's offices can match.

Document searching and image preview are available at no cost to low-volume users. Commercial users may subscribe to obtain higher search volumes. A copy fee is charged for full-sized reproductions of the documents.

In addition, The Recorder's Office now offers a free property watch service to the Benton County 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 immediately if 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.

Benton County is the 39th County Recorder's office to partner with Doxpop for public access. In addition to Recorded Documents, Doxpop also provides public access to Court Case Information in Benton County and 87 other counties.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Enjoying a bit of history in Corydon while preparing for the future.

Yesterday, Paula and Nick from Doxpop ventured South to Corydon to speak to local attorneys and their staff about e-filing.

Of course, we couldn't leave Corydon without walking over to the old Capitol, which is on the South lawn outside the current courthouse. We interrupted Denzil McKim, who was painting and cleaning in preparation for the bicentennial. He was kind enough to pause in his work to let us look around and answer questions.


If we were looking from this angle two hundred years ago, the view would be obscured by the "Consitutional Elm". Legend has it that during the hot days of summer, the representatives would move their debates outside to enjoy the shade of this tree.


A little piece of the tree still exists and sits under its picture inside.


The desks that the Representatives and Senators used are reminiscent of old school desks, with room to write and keep notes. Denzil added the interesting fact that until 1952, Indiana schools taught everyone to write with their right hand, so in a mild form of intolerance, there are no left-handed desks in this building. 


Presumably, this is where the Grand Poobah sat.  The governor's office was in his house, so this would be for the leader of the House or Senate. In 1816, there were 29 Representatives, 10 Senators, and 3 Justices that used this building for their meetings.


In the early 1800's, you had to have at least 60,000 people to join the club, so it was this 1815 census that allowed Indiana to make the move from a Territory to a State. If you squint closely at the top entry, it says "Wain" County contributed 6,406 souls to that count. Doxpop is located in Wayne County, and we currently account for 14 of the people there.

If you look closely, you'll see that at first, the addition was done wrong and because it was in ink, Dennis Pennington's error is preserved for posterity. Dennis Pennington was a leader in early Indiana politics, notable among other things for the strong anti-slavery stance he took during the drafting of the constitution. 



Back in the modern world, we found this monument to former governor Frank O'Bannon on the Southwest corner of the block. From this statue, you can still see the newspaper his family owns and still operates.




Of course, the reason we were here was also a bit more modern. Doxpop was giving a presentation on our e-filing solution for attorneys to a group of attorneys and their staff at the Harrison County Courthouse on the North end of the lawn.


And finally... no travelogue would be complete without a restaurant recommendation. Although we didn't have time to eat there this time, a stroll one block further South will bring you to the Point Blank Brewery, which has great pizza (and presumably, beer.) If you decide to spend an afternoon in Corydon, you can easily walk to all of these places, and walking is the appropriate way to soak in history.


Sunday, February 7, 2016

Martin County Recorder joins the Doxpop Network!

Today Doxpop is welcoming the Martin County Recorder's Office!

We thank Rhonda Sanders, Martin County Recorder, for trusting Doxpop to provide online public access services for her office. Now it's our turn, and we plan to return the favor with excellent service to Rhonda and her constituents in Martin County. Here are the services Doxpop provides:

Community members can sign up using our "informed citizen" account level to obtain occasional access to recorded document information at no cost. At this service level, searching for documents and viewing them is free. A copy fee is charged if the user decides to download a document image for printing or later use.

Professional users who need more than occasional access may sign up for a paid subscription that provides more powerful searching tools and high volume access. Law offices, title firms and other businesses who interact with the Recorder's Office regularly will find that this service lowers their cost of doing business.

Access Martin County Recorded Documents at http://www.doxpop.com.

Doxpop's Property Watch service is now also available to landowners in Martin County at no cost. The property watch service helps prevent real estate fraud by notifying landowners whenever a document is filed referencing their property. To sign up for this service for free, go to: http://watch.doxpop.com.

All Martin County documents filed on or after January 1, 2003 are available through Doxpop.

Rhonda Sanders has provided all of these services to her community at no cost to the taxpayers of Martin County. The new services are funded completely by the fees professional users pay for enhanced access services.

In addition to accessing Martin County Recorded documents, users of Doxpop may obtain recorded documents from Daviess and Dubois counties and public court case information for Martin County and all surrounding counties. In total, Doxpop users can now access Recorded Documents from 38 Indiana counties and Court Records from 88 counties.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Starke Circuit Court converts to Odyssey. Doxpop user's access unaffected.

Over the last weekend, the Starke County Circuit Court 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 February, 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 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.