Doxpop - Tools for Attorneys and Public Information Researchers: January 2010

Friday, January 22, 2010

What I'm grateful for this morning

We've all been working hard this week, and I admit that I'm a bit worn out... But it's all worthwhile when we hear from the people who appreciate our work.

Last night at a community gathering in Liberty, I met one of our customers for the first time. After introducing myself to this attorney, I told him what I do for a living. He responded that he uses Doxpop, appreciates the convenience it provides, and even (gasp!) that it supplies enough value for him that he'd be willing to pay more for it. (I'll keep his name confidential so fellow attorneys don't pounce on him.)

In particular, he appreciated the ability to watch his cases and know right away when another attorney files a document. He is supposed to receive notification through other channels when this occurs, but that doesn't always happen in a timely fashion. Doxpop informs him right away.

I'm still beaming with pride.

I'm grateful to the great support staff and developers at Doxpop who make it possible for me to meet a customer for the first time and be proud to introduce myself as a part of our team at Doxpop. Thank You!

(And don't worry- We won't increase prices until we have to.)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Ripley County Improves Court Case Access!

The Ripley County courts have posted their records on-line via Doxpop since 2007. We are excited to announce that Ripley has upgraded their local computer system, resulting in a more reliable and faster connection to Doxpop.

This change brings the following advantages to Doxpop subscribers using Ripley County Court Data:

  1. Updates every 10 minutes, 24x7. Doxpop gives you everything you will find on the courthouse computer, but without the trek through the snow!
  2. Immediate notifications on watched cases. When the clerk's office enters a return of service, you can know within minutes and without a phone call.
  3. Timely and accurate scheduling information. When the court schedules a new hearing, it will appear on your Doxpop calendar within minutes, and you will receive an email notification.
  4. Better access to financial information. Payments made in the clerk's office are reflected immediately in Doxpop.
  5. Tax Warrants on-line. If you need Indiana DOR tax warrant information for Ripley county residents and businesses, you can now access it 24x7 on Doxpop.

Lawrence County Records Now Online

Doxpop is pleased to announce the addition of the Lawrence County Courts as the newest local government information providers in the Doxpop community. With the addition of Lawrence County, Doxpop now provides access to Court informatino in 50 Indiana Counties.

The court information available for Lawrence County includes all court cases filed beginning in January of 1988.

Lawrence and the many other counties working with Doxpop help serve the public interest by making information available via the web at no cost to the county. Doxpop provides a range of tools designed to facilitate timely and efficient communication between county agencies and those who use county data.

Doxpop has been providing public access to Indiana court records since 2002 and Indiana recorded documents since 2005. Lawrence County is the 50th court system to join the Doxpop network, which currently provides access to over 11.7 million court case records and over 4.4 million recorded documents.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Where is the other $35 million?

As many of you are aware, Doxpop has been working hard to restore the data feed of public information that we lost when Monroe County (in 2008) and Hamilton County (in 2009) moved to the Odyssey case management system run by the State of Indiana. We're still working on this, but with a request still pending from 2007, we're beginning to think cooperation from this new state agency won't be forthcoming without oversight and action from the legislature.

An article that ran yesterday in the Louisville Courier Journal highlights the sort of math that has provided justification for the Odyssey system and contributed to Indiana's budget crisis. Oddly, the reporter didn't notice the conflicting numbers in his own article.

The article opens with: "After nine years and $51 million spent, Indiana is progressing toward a statewide computer system... "

The same article closes with: "DePrez believes a single statewide system is cheaper than the total cost of the 23 systems now in use.... The state has paid Tyler $12 million in one-time fees and is contracted to pay the company $443,670 a year to provide annual maintenance..."

OK... math time: 9 years at $443,670 = $4 million. Add that to $12 million and we get $16 million. Where is the other $35 million out of the $51 million referenced in the first section? Could it be that Odyssey isn't really cheaper than the private sector solution when you add in the missing money?

Maybe the legislature can bring some clarity to this confusing set of numbers. Senate Bill 60 proposes an oversight commission that may be able to resolve the discrepancies and encourage cooperation. A couple of other bloggers have noticed this bill and commented on it here and here.