Doxpop - Tools for Attorneys and Public Information Researchers: April 2016

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.