Application Management Services Help a Leading Court System to Efficiently Process Cases Round the Year

May 18, 2020 - by Synoptek

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Customer: A government agencyProfile: The client maintains a large courthouse system, processing more than 3 million cases annually spanning areas such as civil, criminal, and traffic.

Services: Application Management

Size: 1,001-5,000 employees
Region: Wheaton, Illinois
Industry: Government Administration

Business Need

The agency relied heavily on a case management system that was built using an outdated technology to document, review, and monitor active cases. The system was accessible only to internal courthouse staff members. Despite the client-server-based architecture, the system still relied on a significant amount of manual filing and submission of forms. These issues subsequently caused significant administrative and IT challenges.

The client found that they needed to better serve citizens by providing accurate and timely services while still operating within the court rules and traditions. Additionally, the client realized that they would also be able to work better within budget by relying on the innovative technology solutions provided by a competent Managed Services Partner.

The client sought application support as well as maintenance and enhancements to the system. Besides, there were opportunities to streamline business processes and augment the capabilities of the existing system.

Solution and Approach

Synoptek worked alongside the client’s leadership to enhance the case management system and provide users with practical and modern functionalities. The new case management application consisted of over 2000 server-side cases containing business core logic, and additionally, more than 250 cases were processed on a daily basis.

The critical services provided by Synoptek included the development of new web applications for the automation of court processes, bug fixing, maintenance and support, integration, upgrade and migration, performance monitoring and tuning, and enhancements.

This new application facilitates workflow automation for the courthouse processes. It also enables authorized users to contribute to a case record at various levels, issue alerts and notifications, and generate and e-mail forms to the appropriate users.

The new application was also made accessible to a broader audience depending on their security clearance. Core users, such as judges, clerks, or sheriffs, were given greater access and permissions than external users, such as news agencies and supporting users, such as victims or the general public.

  • Some of the key functionalities included in the new application were:
  • Automation of the case management system along with associated paperwork
  • Development of modules and enhanced functionalities to make the application web based
  • Development and integration of the application with identified external agencies
  • Enhancement of security through an authorized log-in system
  • Development of a tracking function to monitor documents and events that occur within the case management system
  • Creation of a user-friendly and activity-specific interface to facilitate accurate data entry
  • Automation of financial management processes
  • Integration of document imaging functions

In addition to these functionalities, Synoptek also integrated the case management application with external agencies and applications such as Thomson Reuters or the Illinois Department of Transportation. Cross-context data sharing was enabled between two web applications deployed on the same Tomcat server to share session data between them.

Apart from providing support, maintenance, and enhancement services, Synoptek also developed several web applications for the client. Some of these include:

Clerk case history restricted information system:

This application allows authorized users to retrieve information about a case, police officers involved, court schedules, and court details in systematic reports. It is integrated with other web applications for filing case documents, recording incidents, sending transmittal case data, and generating court orders.

Digital signature and stamping utility:

This application is a PDF review tool that allows users to sign or stamp a variety of documents digitally. This tool is also used for filling different court forms.

Internet case filing application:

This eFiling app offers an electronic path for filing documents on new cases or additional documents on an existing case within any participating court jurisdiction of the state. This application removed the necessity of traveling to the jurisdiction to file documents.

eAppeal Application:

This application allows clerks of the circuit court to prepare case documents such as common law records (CLR), report of proceedings (ROP) and send it to the appellate court where the case is being heard.

Court forms application:

This is a responsive website developed using Google Web Toolkit (GWT), which allows users to fill out court forms and add them to a case. The application is designed in such a way that different court forms and their business process can be added without changing the core architecture. This application is used by attorneys, paralegal officers, hearing officers, court clerks, state attorneys, and judges.

Agency case transmittal system:

Using this application, agency users can use a mainframe computer to record tickets and citations of their area. These tickets are transferred to the case management system using mainframe connectivity.

iMap application:

This geocoding application can be used to display any type of case data, such as warrant information, driving under the influence cases, and attorney information, on a map. It is designed in such a way that a map API used for displaying data on maps can be changed easily.

Intertext Application:

This application is a text analysis tool, which searches the occurrence of a word or a phrase in one document or a set of documents. The application also displays 25 words adjacent to the match for the user to get the full context of the word or the phrase. The user can also save search results for future reference.

eFileIL, the centralized filing application:

After the Illinois Supreme Court announced mandatory e-filing of civil cases in the Illinois Supreme, Appellate and Circuit Courts, counties were required to enable e-filing through a single, centralized electronic filing manager (EFM) that is integrated with each court’s case management system. Synoptek developed the corresponding application with a state-wide standard features including new case filing, filing on existing case, serve filing, and so on. Additionally, the application provides custom features such as draft filing, copy filing, payment report, download payment report, and so on.

Business Results

The combination of the new case management system and the integrated web applications provided the client with enhanced functionalities and end-to-end process automation. Synoptek’s solution significantly reduced the amount of administrative time needed for these actions as well as overhead administrative costs. By working with Synoptek, the client was able to achieve more than 50% cost savings.

In addition, the integration of the applications with other agencies allowed for better collaboration across external entities. The continued support and maintenance of the system and applications also significantly reduced the amount of strain on the internal IT infrastructure of the client.

As a result of Synoptek’s support, the client has emerged with one of the most responsive and technologically-advanced case management systems across the United States.

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