Sunday, February 23, 2014

Circuit Court clerk to make records available online by early next year

Remember how awhile back we broke the news that the Knox County Criminal Court Clerk’s Office has never bothered to draw down any of the coin from its $130,000 technology fund?

If you don’t, well, right smack here for the story.

Anyhoo, I was talking to Circuit Court Clerk Cathy Shanks (formerly Quist) and her right hand agent, Randy Kenner, about whether they’re using the money. (Circuit Court is kind of like the yin to Criminal Court’s yang.)

Here’s what I was told:

Last year the office kicked off the bidding process to get an electronic management system that would include an online component. Nine companies were interested and Databank IMX out of Monroe, Louisiana got the contract. (This was approved by the County Commission earlier this year.)

Overall, the plan is to use a scanning system that will allow “for the efficient electronic storage, retrieval and transmission of court records.”

The public, attorneys, media, etc. will then be able to access circuit, civil sessions and juvenile courts’ stuff online for a monthly fee, which will be used to keep the operation up and running. 

Randy told me the numbers but, quite frankly, I forgot. I do remember that he said they’d probably need about 100 clients to break even.

(Nashville has a similar program and it’s actually turned into its own revenue stream.)

Randy said officials hope to have enough content available early next year. At that point they’ll begin offering online access.

They’ll use the technology fund to get the operation going. The money comes from a $2 computer and technology fee that state law requires as part of the filing fee for new cases.

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