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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 91432 Find in a Library
Title: How the Illinois Courts Learned To Speak Computer
Journal: Judges' Journal  Volume:22  Issue:3  Dated:(Summer 1983)  Pages:16-19,53-55
Author(s): R J Downing
Date Published: 1983
Page Count: 7
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The experiences of the Illinois Appellate Court demonstrate computer applications to court operations, particularly the docket system, as well as development, implementation, and cost issues involved in computerization.
Abstract: Before planning for conversion of manual court operations to automated systems, the Illinois courts had to determine if the volume of transactions was large enough to justify the great expense, if the administrative office was able to undertake such a responsibility, and whether the legislature would appropriate funds. Statistics on increasing appellate caseloads indicated the system was feasible, and in 1980 the court hired additional computer specialists, developed a request for proposal, reviewed the PROMIS program, and identified appellate court procedures, documents, and information requirements. It selected a computer vendor in June 1981 and installed prototype systems in two of the five appellate court districts in July and August. In the next 6 months, the staff tailored the PROMIS program package to the courts' needs, demonstrated the system to judicial and clerical representatives from the five districts, and incorporated their suggestions into the system. Personnel began loading case records into the automated system in early 1982 in two districts, maintaining manual records concurrently until they felt the new system was satisfactory. By early 1983, all five districts had computerized their records to varying degrees. Reports generated by the automated system include briefing schedules, motion lists, daily event schedules, overdue lists for docket statements, records, and briefs, and plaintiff/defendant indexes. It is difficult to estimate the impact and costs of Illinois' system, but the entire appellate court operation should have a fully automated docket by January 1984. This has already occurred in the fourth district, reducing clerk time in daily operations and providing judges with important management information in a timely manner.
Index Term(s): Automated court systems; Court information systems; Illinois; Prosecutors Management Information System
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