Friday, December 14, 2007

Another Court Implements RFID Technology

Thanks to one of our readers, we were forwarded an article from RFID Journal that describes the 7th Judicial Circuit Court in Prince George's County, Maryland efforts to implement RFID document tracking.  To read the entire article, click here.

Friday, December 7, 2007

US Federal Court Transcripts To Be Available Online

Press Release via the Administrative Office of the US Courts:

"September 18, 2007 — The Judicial Conference of the United States today voted to make transcripts of federal district and bankruptcy court proceedings available online through the Judiciary's Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) system."

"Under the new policy, transcripts created by court reporters or transcribers will be available for inspection and copying in a clerk of court’s office and for download from PACER 90 days after they are delivered to the clerk. Individuals will be able to view, download, or print a copy of a transcript from PACER for eight cents per page."

NIEM Wayfarer Released

The National Center for State Courts is proud to announce the availability of the National Information Exchange Model - NIEM Wayfarer search and discovery tool.  The tool provides a way to search the names and definitions in the NIEM so as to find the best match for one's needs.  The graphical display requires an SVG-capable browser. Therefore, FireFox, Opera, or Microsoft IE can use NIEM Wayfarer after installing a free plug-in module.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Scotland Courtroom Technology Website

The Scottish Court Service has posted a terrific web page that lists court locations and the technology that is available in the courtrooms.  The website states:

"The Scottish Court Service has provided a range of technology to many of its courtrooms to allow evidence to be presented electronically.  The facilities vary from court to court. To assist in understanding what is available and where it is available the table below provides a breakdown of facilities by location."

Click [here] to see this resource.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Jefferson County Kentucky Provides WiFi Access

Press Release:

LOUISVILLE, Ky., Nov. 14, 2007 –- Smoothstone IP Communications and Jefferson County Circuit Court Clerk David Nicholson today announced the availability of free, high-speed, wireless Internet access in key areas within the Jefferson County Judicial Center. 

Smoothstone is providing this service free of charge as a public service to jurors, attorneys and other members of the public who visit the judicial center. The service can accommodate hundreds of simultaneous Internet users and is available in the jury pool area, the Louisville Bar Association room and common areas on the second floor. For the full press release see:

Monday, November 26, 2007

BJA Announces Regional Conferences

Press Release from the US Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance:

BJA Director Domingo S. Herraiz invites you to join colleagues from your region to learn the latest on key issues in law enforcement and criminal justice at BJA's 2008 Regional Conference Series. The meetings promise to provide participants with new information, stimulate discussion, and offer best practices and solutions to emerging and chronic crime concerns.
Registration information is at

Registration for this event is free of charge, but hotel space is limited.
Meeting Locations

West Region - Salt Lake City, UT
January 8-10, 2008
Salt Lake City Marriott Downtown
(Alaska; American Samoa; Arizona; California; Colorado; Guam; Hawaii; Idaho; Montana; Nevada; New Mexico; Northern Mariana Islands; Oregon; Utah; Washington; Wyoming)

Northeast Region - Hartford, CT
January 29-31, 2008
Hilton Hartford
(Connecticut; Delaware; District of Columbia; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New York; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; Vermont)

Midwest Region - Indianapolis, IN
February 12-14, 2008
Hilton Indianapolis
(Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Michigan; Minnesota; Missouri; Nebraska; North Dakota; Ohio; South Dakota; Wisconsin)

South Region - Atlanta, GA
March 11-13, 2008
Hyatt Regency Atlanta
(Alabama; Arkansas; Florida; Georgia; Kentucky; Louisiana; Mississippi; North Carolina; Oklahoma; Puerto Rico; South Carolina; Tennessee; Texas; Virgin Islands; Virginia; West Virginia)

Questions? Contact Amy Kirson or Cynthia Stubits at 202-973-8725 or

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Exciting (and Confusing) Court Performance Dashboard Market

CTC-10 presenter, Ingo Keilitz recently wrote about court performance dashboards and the Super Session Presentation made at the conference on his blog at Made2Measure.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Global Justice Endorses Architecture

The Global Justice Information Sharing Initiative Advisory Committee (Global) endorsed the Global Justice Reference Architecture (version 1.4) at its Fall meeting on October 31, 2007.  The Justice Reference Architecture (JRA) provides a technical framework for implementing service oriented architecture in the justice community and improving information sharing and interoperability among justice partners.

Information regarding the JRA can be found at

More information about Global Justice Information Sharing and related projects can be found at:

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Some Articles on Digital Signature and Validation

As you may know, we keep an eye out for digital signature and digital validation articles.  Here are a couple that may be of interest.

Finally, there is also an the American Bar Association's work on Digital Signature Guidelines.  The link is:

Oakland County Video System Recognized

Government Computer News recognized Oakland County, Michigan for their OakVideo videoconferencing and document sharing system with their Agency Award in the October 8, 2007 edition.  The article titled "Law & Video" explains: the OakVideo judicial-arraignment system, lets law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, community corrections and the courts save and secure case records on a centralized server.

Monday, October 22, 2007

NIEM Executive Briefing Webinar

We received the following press release:

On Wednesday, November 14, 2007, a NIEM Executive Briefing will be offered as a Webinar. This briefing will provide an overview of the NIEM program and will describe the data model and its components. It will also provide an overview of the current NIEM domain, NIEM program accomplishments, the current status of the NIEM model, and the state of NIEM adoption and use, and we will delve into future plans for NIEM. A major focus of the session will be the value of NIEM and how it leverages and expands the successes of standards-based information sharing. Participants will learn about the NIEM governance structure and how to successfully get involved with NIEM. The changes and improvements made to NIEM via Release 2.0, also known as the Harmony release of NIEM, will be discussed. The session will end with an update on the availability of NIEM tools and resources and a brief look to the future of NIEM.

To register, send your name and e-mail address to Ms. Shelby Glover at Prior to the call, you will receive an e-mail notification of the conference call, dial-in instructions, and Web site address for the Webinar. Program content questions should be directed to Ms. Eileen Rixmann of the IJIS Institute at (703) 726-3681 or

Monday, October 15, 2007

"Who Killed the Virtual Case File?"

An article posted on IEEE Spectrum Online discusses the long and difficult process, and project management challenges that the US Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has had in creating their "Virtual Case File" and other systems.  The full article is at:

RFID used in State's Attorney Office

Dan Zinn, CIO for the Office of State Attorney for the 15th Judicial Circuit in West Palm Beach, Florida sent us the following article:

State Attorney Barry Krischer had a problem within his office.  How do you handle 18,000 active felony case files that traverse three different floors, are processed by multiple divisions, and go in and out of the building?  His answer was RFID (Radio Frequency Identification).  The federal government and Walmart have been using RFID to track shipments and goods and a few law firms have used it to manage their file libraries.  Hospitals use active RFID to track “Crash Carts” and other critical mobile equipment.  This was the first time that passive RFID has been implemented to track case files as they move through and in and out of a building.

The Technology was simple.  It was like “LoJack” for a file and using GPS coordinates on Google Earth to let staff see the location of the file on a floor plan.  Making it work was a complex system integration project.  The office used the services of the Innerwireless Corporation located in Richardson, Texas and Computer Information and Planning located in Jacksonville, Florida.  CIO Dan Zinn headed the project which involved integrating the PanGo RFID technology from innerwireless into the office case tracking system known as STAC and designing and installing antennas throughout the floors that the files commonly traversed.

Staff only sees the results.  To locate a file a staff members selects the case in STAC, they then press the ‘control I’ keys on their computer and a new screen appears showing the location of the file or the last door that it passed through when exiting the building.  It gives the date and time along with a number of other case details.  The case locator can also be accessed using the office intranet.
This project has just begun.  Plans call for increasing the granularity of the locations to improve location time; integrating RFID staff ID tags to track who was transporting the file and tracking other office fixed assets.

About the technology:  Active RFID tags are tags powered by a battery.  An example is the transponder that is used to pay tolls or to go in and out of parking lots.  This type of technology costs several dollars per unit.  Passive RFID uses tags that harness the power from a radio frequency to activate the tag and then send the information back to the receiving antenna.  The cost for this type of technology starts at less than a quarter.

The RFID project started in 2004 with an initial collaboration with Wal-mart.  The technology was not mature enough at that time to go forward.  The tags started at $5.00 and there were no standards.  Since 2004 RFID Standards were agreed upon, the cost per tag dropped significantly and the technology and software applications improved.  Today RFID is a viable business solution.  For more information on this project, go to the Office of State Attorney for the 15th Judicial Circuit.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

NIEM Fellowship Program Announced

Under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the National Information Exchange Model (NIEM) Program Management Office (PMO) has announced a fellowship program to select staff members to serve the three primary operational committees that comprise the core governance of NIEM. A fellowship will be offered to selected individuals to provide senior management support for the NIEM Business Architecture Committee (NBAC), the NIEM Technical Architecture Committee (NTAC), and the NIEM Communications and Outreach Committee (NC&OC). For more information see the complete announcement at:

CTC-10 a Success

We would like to thank all of the attendees and our supporting sponsors and exhibitors for another great Court Technology Conference.  Conference papers and presentations will be posted in the near future on the CTC-10 website at:

ebXML Messaging Service Spec Approved

The Global Infrastructure and Standards Working Group (GISWG) has approved the addition of the Justice Reference Architecture (JRA) ebXML Messaging Service Interaction Profile to our specification set (also see JRA v. 1.4 and Web Services SIP v. 1.1).  The final version 1.0 of this SIP can be downloaded from

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Expert Chat On Tap: What XML Can Do For You

We received this announcement for an online program with our own Paul Embley as a speaker:
What XML Can Do For You: A Better Way to Share Data
Expert Chat: October 9, 2007, 2 pm (EDT)

Having trouble sharing data electronically? Many systems are innately incompatible with each other, even similar systems can have difficulty sharing when data itself is not identically structured.

Extensible Markup Language (XML) is an increasingly adapted IT standard being used globally. XML is already improving the way criminal justice information is exchanged, but its potential is far from fully realized.

Attend this online event, sponsored by the Government Innovators Network and the National Institute of Justice, where a panel of experts will present an accessible overview of the IT behind data sharing. They will highlight best practices, lessons learned, and the latest implementation projects. Ample time will be allocated for udience Q&A. The forum will be moderated by the Honorable Deborah Daniels, former Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs. The panel will include:
  • Paul Embley—CIO, National Center for State Courts; Chair, Global XML Structure Task Force 
  • Paul Wormeli—Executive Director, Integrated Justice Information Systems Institute 
  • Col. Bart Johnson—Deputy Superintendent, New York State Police; Vice-Chair, Global Advisory Committee 
Learn more about the online event.

The Tenth Court Technology Conference

The NCSC will be hosting the Tenth Court Technology Conference in Tampa, Florida from October 2-4, 2007.  Our technology team will present our vision of the Future of Court Technology during the final morning plenary from 8:30-9:30 on Thursday, October 4th in the convention center ballroom.  The presentation will highlight ideas for improving customer service, communications, and work measurement.  Plus we'll have some fun.  We look forward to see all of our friends at CTC-10.

Monday, September 24, 2007

GJXDM / NIEM Users Conference Presentations Available

The Global Justice Information Sharing Users' Conference and a NIEM Executive Briefing were held in Chicago on August 20-24, 2007. The presentations from the conference and the briefing are now available online at topic_id=253

National Governors Association Solicits States for NIEM Pilot Funding

A press release: The National Governors Association ( NGA ) Center for Best Practices has announced solicitations for a Policy Academy in which selected states will identify and document pilot exchanges to utilize the National Information Exchange Model (NIEM) to improve justice information sharing. NIEM is designed to develop, disseminate and support enterprise-wide information exchange standards and processes that can enable jurisdictions to effectively share critical information in emergency situations, as well as support the day-to-day operations of agencies throughout the nation. Applications are due by 5:00 pm EST on October 12, 2007. 

The solicitation can be found at: (Letter to Governors)
and (Application Guidelines)

If you need further information, please contact Erin Lee at (202)624-5392 or or Will Ware at (202) 624-5311 or Erin LeeNational, Governors Association, 444 N. Capitol Street, Suite 267, Washington, DC 20001 202-624-5392

Friday, September 21, 2007

Georgia Appellate Courts Plan for E-Filing

The September 7, 2007 edition of the Daily Report newspaper contained an article titled "Courts heed e-filing call" describes actions being taken by the Georgia Appellate Courts to provide E-filing services in the future.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

NIEM Wayfarer 2.0

The National Center for State Courts has developed a new version of the Wayfarer exploration tool for the NIEM (National Information Exchange Model). NIEM Wayfarer 2.0 provides search capabilities against the latest production release of NIEM (NIEM 2.0). The tool provides detailed display of element information, including namespaces in which they reside, element definitions, contained and inherited properties, and container elements. Display of type details includes namespaces in which types reside, type definitions, derivation chain, derived types, and elements that are of a given type. Other features: schema or alpha ordering, dynamic augmentation display, a comparison matrix showing namespaces for identically named types, and a new graphical view showing related elements, derived types, and contained elements. The tool may be accessed at direct any questions or comments to Jim Harris at

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

The Search for a Quiet Keyboard

A problem arose when my laptop was replaced with a thin-client computer [1]with a detached keyboard. I found that keyboards that are not part of laptops tend to be enormously noisy in the courtroom. They are distracting and impaired my ability to hear on the bench. And this is especially a problem for me because I've taken notes via a keyboard since first taking the bench.
The IT department's first answer to the noise problem from the clerk's keyboard was to slap a mushy vinyl splash guard over it. This “solution” in my opinion makes for a terrible keyboard feel and hampers fast typing.

So I then started looking for a quiet keyboard for my bench. I've used a small keyboard with a short stroke that is pretty quiet at home and in chambers but couldn't duplicate it because it has been discontinued. In addition, this older keyboard is not compatible with my new thin-client workstation since it has a PS/2 style keyboard connector instead of the newer USB connector – and adapter/converters are hit and miss..

So having tried all the versions our IT department had to offer and having bought a few reasonably priced but ultimately unsatisfactory keyboards, I finally discovered one designed for the medical industry. This line of keyboards includes several versions; small and large, with and without function keys, numeric pads, touch-pads, and so on. All versions are available in black and white colors, and are waterproof or, more importantly, coffee-proof. What I bought was a "Slimcool model," which is small (about 12" wide) without separate number pad, touch pad, or function keys that I don’t use. My requirement was that I needed the additional space on my bench and that I liked the quiet, short stroke as well as the feel. The keyboard is absolutely horizontal, so I added some stick-on small vinyl bumpers to the back to elevate it to the incline I've become accustomed to with other keyboards. I find that it is fast and quiet, and the touch suits my requirements (though preferences on the feel of keyboards vary tremendously).

While I have absolutely no interest in this company, or in anyone buying keyboards from them, I just thought others might find theirs to be as welcome and rare a solution as I have. The website is

The Hon. Michael Marcus is a Judge in the Circuit Court of Multnomah County, Oregon.
1] For more regarding thin-client computers see:

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Texas Court Technology Website

The Texas State Courts Online website hosts an excellent web page highlighting their technology efforts.  The Judicial Committee on Information Technology (JCIT) web page contains information on their projects, policies and standards, and statewide contracts.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Federal Courts Expand Access to Information

The US Federal Courts July, 2007 edition of The Third Branch newsletter describes recent enhancements to the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) system.  The article, "Access to Court Information Ever Expanding" notes that "(c)ustomers of the federal court's" PACER "system now have access without charge, to district court written opinions".

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

NIEM 2.0 Released

The full press release:

DOJ and DHA Announce the National Information Exchange Model (NIEM) 2.0 Release

WASHINGTON- The U.S. Departments of Justice (DOJ) and Homeland Security (DHS) announced today the release of the 2.0 production version of the National Information Exchange Model (NIEM) and its supporting tools.  NIEM is the basis for allowing multiple communities of interest to share, exchange, accept, and translate information needed by constituents.

The development of NIEM is a joint effort among DOJ, DHS, and subject-matter experts from the justice, public safety, law enforcement, homeland security and private sectors. Designed by experienced practitioners, governed by participating stakeholders, and driven by leadership from DOJ and DHS, NIEM is developing, disseminating, and supporting enterprise-wide information exchange standards and processes that enable jurisdictions to effectively share critical information in emergency situations, as well as support the day-to-day operations of agencies throughout the nation.

The 2.0 release was driven by practitioner requirements through a well-defined collaborative process.  A major focus of this release was to harmonize the data definitions and usage across multiple domains.  In addition, NIEM was remodeled to remove duplication, complexity, and ambiguity and includes new code lists and types.  It also contains updates to existing code lists and resolution of about 30 issues documented by NIEM users.

This release also contains new and updated tools that will enable users to more easily use NIEM and produce and implement their information exchanges.  These include: the Subset Schema Generation Tool (SSGT), which helps users develop the components of an exchange and allows them to choose which version of NIEM with which to work and the NIEM Migration Asset Tool, which assists in the migration of previously developed wantlists to NIEM 2.0.

Training and technical assistance are available to facilitate the adoption, implementation, and use of this groundbreaking model.  More information regarding NIEM and a link to download the 2.0 version can be found at

For further information, contact Paul Wormeli,  Chairman of the NIEM Communications and Outreach Committee, at

Montgomery County, Ohio Issues E-filing RFP

Montgomery County, Ohio is requesting proposals for an electronic case filing system for the Common Pleas Court, General Division and the Clerk of Courts.  Proposals are due on August 22, 2007.  A copy of the RFP can be downloaded after registering with the Montgomery County Purchasing department at:

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Global Justice Information Sharing Conference Slated

The US Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Assistance will be presenting the Global Justice Information Sharing Conference in Chicago, Illinois from August 21-23, 2007.  Included in this years conference are updates on the development of the NIEM and many case studies on GJXDM implementations.  Complete information regarding the conference including agenda and accommodation information is now available on the conference website.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Government Computer News Highlights NIEM

In its June 18, 2007 edition, Government Computer News highlighted the recent National Information Exchange Model version 2.0 release in an article titled "Information exchange model at the next level"

Garland Texas Municipal Court Goes Paperless

The City of Garland, Texas issued a press release announcing their paperless municipal court project.  The release stated:
"The staff now processes citations from initial input to final disposition entirely online.  No need to track down files among tens of thousands of documents, or dismiss cases because of missing documents.  All case information is available at each clerk’s desktop."
This system will be highlighted as part of a CTC-10 session titled "Workflow: The Next Step of Case Management System Evolution" hosted by National Center for State Courts Senior Technology Consultant, John Matthias in Tampa, Florida in October, 2007.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Federal Courts Wiki and Post Audio Recordings

The June, 2007 edition of "The Third Branch" newsletters from the US Federal Courts contains two technology related articles. The first article concerns the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals Wiki Practioners Guide project. The court "posted its Practitioners Handbook to the web and opened it up for revisions by members of the bar, no holds barred". The second project noted in the newsletter described the pilot project to post digital audio recordings of court proceedings online in three bankruptcy and two district trial courts.

Court Programs Recognized

In May, 2007 the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government, Ash Institute for Democratic Governance and Innovation recently recognized two court programs as part of their innovation in government awards program. The first program was the Electronic Court Records project in King County Superior Court, Washington. The Ash Institutes website stated that the "(e)lectronic Court Records gives court case file users electronic access. Scanning and e-filing have eliminated paper files, resulting in faster processing, desktop access to documents and better security." The second program recognized was the Juvenile Justice Continuum of Services and Graduated Sanctions program in the 6th Judicial District of New Mexico. The website stated that "(t)he Juvenile Justice Continuum of Services and Graduated Sanctions is composed of an integrated service network of juvenile programs, which have recorded a 70% decline in delinquent offenses since its inception.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Release Candidate 2 for NIEM 2.0 Published

A message from the NIEM Communication and Outreach Committee:  

"Based on feedback received from release candidate 1 of NIEM 2.0, a second release candidate has been posted to for stakeholder review. All interested parties are requested to respond with comments no later than COB July 16th. Assuming that no major problems are encountered, the NIEM Leadership Team is planning on releasing the production version of NIEM 2.0 on or about July 30th. Tools for schema generation and migration assistance should have completed beta testing by July 30th and will be accessible at at the same time as the release of the 2.0 model. Please submit your comments on RC2 directly to the National Information Sharing Standards help desk at"

Monday, July 2, 2007

Minnesota Judicial Branch Integration Services

Bob Hanson, CIO from the Minnesota Judicial Branch reports the following on their Judicial Branch Integration services website and other efforts on data sharing.

"The site is organized around data integration services for justice partners and interested parties. The site includes a catalog of "notifications" and "submittals" to both get and put data to the state wide case management system. The system is event enabled and at a case event, data triggers fire and activate assemblage of XML messages containing data pertinent to the case event, this messages are " published" for partners to consume The site includes test messages, responses, schemas, ...etc. The schemas were developed over time and are not complete matches for GJXDM/NIEM.  They are tailored to provide the necessary performance required to operate a real time exchange with court partners computer systems as well as filling gaps dealing with the civil portions of the courts business responsibility."
"Below in the introduction paragraphs from the website ( that describe the Branch strategy in getting justice data to the right party in the right place at the right time."

Court Integration Services is an enterprise-wide strategy of the Minnesota Judicial Branch to make court case data available for electronic consumption by applications of other justice entities.  To facilitate data consumption, Integration Services electronically publishes court case event data as case events occur.  Other justice entities may subscribe to consume select publications of case event and party data—through messaging technology.  Because court case data is published using XML, messages are easily consumed by message-enabled applications designed or modified for computer-to-computer transactions—without human intervention.   No “custom views” are needed to satisfy specific agency needs.  Instead, Integration Services provides the data and the XML schema, so consuming entities can take, use, and transform data formats to match the needs of their applications.

The publication of court case data in XML and use of messaging is a first and critical step toward allowing other justice information systems to consume court case data and build needed integrations.  Integration Services’ messaging technology provides for the timely publishing of court case data, required by justice entities to perform necessary functions. The reduction of human involvement in the passing of data from entity to entity will improve accuracy and minimize time delays in the delivery of accurate information to the right place at the right time.

The Integration Services strategy is bi-directional and includes capacity to receive electronic data from other justice entities to initiate court transactions, such as filing cases and scheduling hearings.  Historically, such transactions have been initiated through the manual presentation of information to the court.  Integration Services provides the means to transition from manual presentation to electronic presentation of the same information—to initiate the same transactions.

Integration Services strategy is focused on computer application to computer application exchange and sharing of data in near real time; it does not provide direct “viewing” capabilities.  However, viewing capabilities are offered through other court applications and access points. The strategy also recognizes this form of data exchange will co-exist with traditional exchange methods.  Some entities may not be able to adapt business applications to consume messages.  Likewise, low volumes of data consumption may not make such an investment cost effective.

Integration Services serves the Priorities & Strategies for Minnesota’s Judicial Branch:  Focus on the Future (FY2007-FY2009), which includes the objectives of: i) establishing an efficient, reliable, comprehensive case management system that meets the needs of court users, judges and court staff, justice partners, and the state judicial system as a unified whole; and ii) developing a highly efficient, accurate process for the initiation of criminal and juvenile cases.  Through Integration Services, justice entities have the opportunity to electronically consume published case data, and both the courts and other justice entities can benefit from the electronic initiation of case transactions.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Florida Law Enforcement Exchange (FLEX) Program Highlighted

In their June 4, 2007 edition, Government Computer News published an article on the Florida Law Enforcement Exchange (FLEX) program that is using NIEM standards and technology to link justice agencies.

CTC-10 Educational Sessions Posted

The 10th Court Technology Conference education program has been posted on the conference website at  The program highlights public access technology program, data sharing, disaster planning and recovery, as well as many other topics of interest to the court and justice community.  The always popular Hi-Tech Courtroom sessions are listed as well as a new track focused upon law firm and attorney related technology.  See you in Tampa, Florida, October 2-4, 2007.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

California and National Information Exchange Standards

Christopher Smith from the California Administrative Office of the Courts sends us this update on their GJXDM related activities:

Today, California courts have a myriad of interfaces in place using different standards and protocols. This is a result of local integration solutions being developed over time as technologies and practices changed. California, however, now has an opportunity to standardize how courts exchange information with their partners. This is particularly important as a critical part of the success of the California Case Management System (CCMS) will be the ability for courts to continue interfacing with their state and local justice partners. The California AOC’s Data Integration Program has developed a strategy to achieve this goal. This strategy addresses three key factors—standards, development, and deployment.

The branch has developed 17 Global Justice XML Data Model (GJXDM) based criminal and traffic data exchange standards covering 71 different scenarios and 4 similar standards for family and juvenile interfaces. The branch is also participating in the California Department of Justice’s effort to develop additional standards, including for juvenile delinquency. GJXDM-based interfaces are also being defined to allow courts and the state department of child support services to exchange information.

But while these standards are now available, many of the interfaces in use today pre-date them, and therefore, are not conformant. Many courts today use interfaces designed on legacy systems, long before XML even existed. Other courts have XML interfaces based on previous national or state standards or one-off solutions. This would include, for example, the courts who are using California’s Second Generation E-Filing Specifications for civil e-filing. Now, with the development and rollout of CCMS, California has the opportunity to institute a uniform framework for information sharing that reuses standards and tools across all case types so that any document that can be filed with the court can be filed electronically—whether by government agency, attorney, or a self-represented litigant.

Through the Data Integration Program, California will migrate all of its branch information exchange standards to the national information exchange standards—either the Global Justice XML Data Model (GJXDM) or the National Information Exchange Model (NIEM). This includes transitioning our Second Generation E-Filing Specifications for civil e-filing to the national models as well as revisiting our existing GJXDM-based criminal/traffic and family/juvenile data exchange specifications to ensure they meet the needs of the courts in a CCMS environment. By conforming to the national standards, California can have a single, uniform branch data dictionary that will assist in the development and deployment of additional exchanges in the future.

With these uniform standards in place, California will be able to standardize the architecture for information sharing. This architecture will drive all interfaces through our Integration Services Backbone (ISB), a suite of tools and service for integrating applications, where we can reconfigure and manage exchanges without having to do core development work to CCMS. This is particularly important as many jurisdictions have local extensions to the core standard exchange and it would be cost prohibitive to manage this within the core application. The ISB will also play a key role in civil electronic filing and sharing information with the public.

The final element of the strategy is to assist courts in the deployment of the CCMS and ISB, including ensuring required interfaces with justice partners are available to them. Even though CCMS will not be completely deployed for a few years, the Data Integration Program will begin evaluating courts integration requirements this year. This is so courts can become familiar with the new standards and architecture and their partners have time to plan for these changes. This will also give us time to develop and configure any additional data exchange standards needed by our courts.

Even though the family and juvenile modules are still being developed for CCMS, courts have already begun to benefit from the use of standards and the Integration Services Backbone. In Sacramento, the court is able to do its monthly interface with the Employment Development Department. In San Luis Obispo, court clerks will be able to review and accept or reject criminal complaints when that court goes live on the criminal and traffic module of CCMS. A number of other courts have used our standards to design public interfaces for sharing calendars and registers of action. And, soon, the courts will be able to interface with the credit card authorization agency from CCMS through the ISB.

In Orange Superior Court, the use of standards has already been used to improve information sharing. They are implementing, or have implemented, a number of GJXDM interfaces with local justice partners, including: initial criminal filings with the District Attorney, child support filings with the Department of Child Support Services, and citation data with local law enforcement to name a few. Other courts will soon deploy similar standards based interfaces as they deploy to the CCMS.

Monday, June 11, 2007

CTC-10 Education Program Posted

The initial CTC-10 education program has been listed on the CTC10 conference website. Click on the "Program" button on the menu bar to navigate to the program. In addition, information on the keynote speakers, Jack Ford and John G. Miller and their program has been posted.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

NIEM "Harmony" Released

A recent newsletter from the NIEM project stated:

"The new release of the National Information Exchange Model (NIEM), version 2.0, also known as the “Harmony” release, was driven by practitioner requirements through a well-defined collaborative process and brings many great features. Some of the highlights of NIEM 2.0 are:
  • Improved semantic quality (harmonization) of the NIEM Core model (Universal and Common) as well as some specific components from the individual domains.
  • Remodeling to remove duplication, complexity, and ambiguity.
  • Simplification of Universal and Common components to make it easier to understand and use the model, while maintaining their identity of Universal and Common in metadata.
  • Domain version independence.
  • Integrated ~30 NCCT issues resolved by NBAC/NTAC.
  • Addition of five new code lists and types, and updates to existing code lists.
  • Migration tools, both for those using NIEM 1.0 as well as those using GJXDM 3.0.3."
For additional information see the full announcement at:

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Court GJXDM/NIEM Projects in Progress, May, 2007

We have recently heard from several courts that are working on data sharing programs.

Thom Edwards from the New Hampshire Administrative Office of the Courts reports that they currently have a project called J-ONE underway that will use the GJXDM as the standard for information exchange.  He also reports that the J-ONE project will provide transformation services to connect to their new court case management system.  They are also considering exchanges with other state agencies. In particular they are looking into exchanges in the area of Child Support orders and the federal IV-D program.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Kankakee County, Illinois issues RFP for Court CMS

Note: This article has been edited on June 11, 2007 to reflect the extended response date. 

We received the following announcement:

The mission of this RFP is to obtain a CMS that will provide unity and cohesiveness within the various offices of the Kankakee County Court System. The core is the Clerk of the Circuit Court, with the integration of the States’ Attorney, Public Defender, Probation, Judges, County Sheriff, and local law enforcement agencies. Other Court Support Services will also be incorporated to facilitate the Court Processes.

The Kankakee County project manager and sole point of contact for purposes of this procurement is:

Becky Farmer, Project Manager
Phone: (815) 937-2905

The RFP, attachments, Kankakee County contact information and Kankakee County demographic information is located at

To be considered, all proposals must be received in the issuing office no later than 2:00 p.m. Central Time on June 18, 2007 July 9, 2007. Proposals received after this time and date will not be considered.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

BJA Regional Information Sharing Conference in Jacksonville, Florida

SEARCH Group and the US Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance sent us the following press release: 

It’s time to act fast if you don’t want to miss the last of four BJA-sponsored conferences to be held at the Hyatt Regency-Jacksonville Riverfront June 4-6, 2007. The cutoff date to reserve your hotel rooms is May 12.
Can your organization afford to lag behind in the critical area of planning, managing, and implementing technology solutions for your information sharing systems? If not, now is your chance to take advantage of this great opportunity to:
  • Hear success stories from justice and public safety practitioners from your region and across the nation as they discuss pitfalls to avoid, lessons learned, and what has worked for them.
  • Learn how to use the latest developments in policy, privacy and security, technologies, and standards to solve your information sharing challenges.
  • Participate in daily breakout sessions tailored specifically for executives, managers and implementers
  • Benefit from sessions that focus on strategic planning, best practices, information exchange modeling, knowledge management, partnership building—and more!
  • Network with fellow practitioners from local, state, and federal agencies.
Some recipients of this email may already have attended one of the earlier conferences, and we are glad to have met you.  We have included you as a recipient so that you may encourage others in your organization to attend this last conference.

Sponsored by the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice, in cooperation with SEARCH, The National Consortium for Justice Information and Statistics, and the GJXDM Training and Technical Assistance Committee.

Friday, May 4, 2007

NIEM 2.0 Beta1

The NIEM 2.0 Beta1 is available for review and comment. It can be downloaded from The release package includes a document with release notes that detail changes and the planned timeline for the 2.0 release. Please direct any questions or comments to Scott Fairholm at The deadline for comments is May 15.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Global Justice Information Sharing Conference Announced

The US Department of Justice has announced their upcoming Global Justice Information Sharing Conference to be held from August 21-23 in Chicago, Illinois.  The conference website states that (t)he U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Assistance, has collaborated with various local, state, tribal, and federal partners to develop the best possible resources to support nationwide information sharing implementations. The Global Justice Information Sharing Users' Conference will highlight best practices and lessons learned and will feature new implementation projects. The presentations will highlight both the development of the National Information Exchange Model (NIEM) and the many projects supported by DOJ's Global Justice XML Data Model (GJXDM). Additional information regarding NIEM can be found at, and additional information on GJXDM can be found at

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Washington State Tests Electronic Citation System

According to a Press Release from the Washington Courts:
"Drivers stopped for violating traffic laws in Washington, or who are involved in a collision, are going to see something new. Currently, a select group of officers from local and state law enforcement agencies are using a system that allows electronic ticketing and collision reporting. Preliminary feedback indicates a reduction in traffic stop times."

"Prior to testing the electronic system, I timed a number of my traffic stops," said Officer David Johansen of the Lacey Police Department. "Electronic ticketing has cut these times by about half, allowing drivers to get back on the road faster." A study will be conducted to determine the amount of time officers actually save. Results are expected in fall 2007.

The overall project known as "eTrip" has a website with additional information on this and other initiatives.

Monday, April 23, 2007

King County Language Interpreter Website Wins Award

In 2006, the National Association for Court Management recognized the King County, Washington District Court with their Justice achievement award.  The Washington Courts noted this award in a press release that describes the system.  In addition, you can visit the website and download a Technical FAQ.  A well deserved award for an innovative system.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

New Technology Trends Articles Posted

John Matthias and Jim McMillan have posted two new trends articles on the NCSC's website. John's article is titled E-Filing Expansion in State, Local, and Federal Courts 2007. Jim's article is titled Using Technology to Improve Customer Service. Both can be downloaded by clicking on the title links. Both articles are part of the NCSC's Future Trends in State Courts series that are compiled each year in the the Trends Report.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Phoenix Municipal Court Offers WiFi Service

Tim Lawler, the IST Division Administrator of the Phoenix, Arizona Municipal Court wrote recently that they have installed "no charge" filtered wireless Internet service in their court.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Federal Courts Speed Prisoner Transfers

The February, 2007 US Federal Courts newsletter, The Third Branch contains an article on their web based "eDesignate" system "that allows a probation office and the U.S. Marshals Service to electronically transmit documents to the Bureau of Prisons after a defendant is sentenced to custody". The article goes on to note that "more than 14,000 designations have been made using the eDesignate system".

Federal Appellate Courts Go Live with CM/ECF

The March, 2007 issue of The Third Branch federal court newsletter contains an article on the implementation of their new case management system in 2007. The article states that the new system will allow for electronic document filing in the near future.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Louisiana Courts Issue RFP

The Louisiana Courts have issued the following notice:

The purpose of this RFP is to solicit proposals for procurement of a Microsoft Sequel Server integrated adult court case management system entitled “The Louisiana Court Connection” to be administered by the Louisiana Supreme Court Judicial Administrator’s Office CMIS Division. The intent of the Louisiana Court Connection is to provide Louisiana city courts with an effective means of managing civil, traffic, criminal, probation (special sentencing), appeals, and court services data and provide financial tracking of court furnished fines and fees, case scheduling, document indexing and preservation, standard form and report generation, and ad-hoc query functional capabilities. Software development for the Louisiana Court Connection will be acquired through competitive contract negotiations on a fixed fee basis.
The complete RFP is posted on the Court’s website ( Paper copies of the RFP can be obtained by contacting:

Carmelitte Venturella
Louisiana Supreme Court
Office of the Judicial Administrator
CMIS Division
400 Royal Street, Suite 1190
New Orleans, Louisiana 70130-8101
(504) 310-2571
FAX (504) 310-2570

Thursday, March 15, 2007

The value of project management...

TechRepublic recently published an article titled Project management 101--the case for project management by Tom Mochal. There are many books and articles on the subject of making a case for project management, but this is a brief article that gets right to the point. Every project (especially IT projects) will have risks to manage and unexpected problems to deal with. You can deal with these issues in a haphazard or reactive mode or you can deal with them in a proactive and controlled manner. I’m betting the latter is what most of us would want.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Innovations in Justice: Information Sharing Strategies and Best Practices Conference

SEARCH Group has announced the Innovations in Justice: Information Sharing Strategies and Best Practices Conferences at the Hyatt Regency-Minneapolis, in Minnesota, March 27-29, 2007 and later; June 4-6, 2007 at the Hyatt Regency-Jacksonville Riverfront, Jacksonville, FL. Domingo S. Herraiz, Director, Bureau of Justice Assistance, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice is keynote speaker on Day 1 of the conference in Minneapolis.

Free Public Wi-Fi Scam Article

During my travels in recent weeks I have seen the "Free Public Wi-Fi" scam show up at four different airports when looking for a wireless Internet connection. I have seen it in Chicago, Washington Dulles, and both Tampa and Richmond where there are actually free connections available. If you are interested, here is an excellent ComputerWorld article about the problem.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Global Justice Reference Architecture Draft Available

The GISWG Executive Architecture Committee (EAC) announced that the Global Justice Reference Architecture (JRA) Specification Working Draft Version 1.4 is now available on U.S. OJP's Technology and Global Web Site. Each JRA Draft Specification is open for a two week review timeframe, and all comments will be considered for the next pending release. There is a quick link to the left of the U.S. DOJ's Global web site, under "Key Topics," and an established link at

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Justice Reference Architecture Presentation Available

Recently our own Scott Fairholm made a presentation on the Justice Reference Architecture that was captured on video and is available online courtesy of the IJIS Institute. The publications page that contains this and other presentations can be accessed directly by clicking here.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Global Justice Reference Architecture Draft Available

The GISWG Executive Architecture Committee (EAC) announced that the Global Justice Reference Architecture (JRA) Specification Working Draft Version 1.4 is now available on U.S. OJP's Technology and Global Web Site. Each JRA Draft Specification is open for a two week review timeframe, and all comments will be considered for the next pending release. There is a quick link to the left of the U.S. DOJ's Global web site, under "Key Topics," and an established link at

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

US Bankruptcy Courts Protect Privacy

A December, 2006 article in the US Federal Courts newsletter "The Third Branch" described the Bankruptcy Courts response to the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (BAPCPA). The article states that "Although the federal courts already have in place a policy on privacy and public access to electronic case files (, Section 315 of the Act specifically required that the Director of the Administrative Office (AO) establish procedures for safeguarding the confidentiality of the required tax information."

The article further states that "(u)nder the guidance issued by the AO, no tax information filed with the bankruptcy court or otherwise provided by the debtor will be available to the public on the Internet, on the Judiciary’s electronic public access service that allows users to obtain case and docket information from records, or through the courts’ Case Management/Electronic Case Files system. For non-court users of any of these systems or networks, a docket report will indicate only that tax information has been filed."

MassCourts Lite Announced

On February 6, 2007 a Massachusetts Court System press release stated that "Chief Justice for Administration and Management Robert A. Mulligan today announced that the Trial Court has completed its rollout of MassCOURTS Lite to 63 divisions of the District and Boston Municipal Court Departments. MassCOURTS is the Trial Court’s web-based, electronic case management system."

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Ohio Supreme Court Goes Digital

In a press release the Ohio Supreme Court announced their digital document program began operation in December, 2006. They wrote: "Digital images of case documents filed with the Supreme Court of Ohio are now available on the Court's Web site, through the Clerk of Court's online case docket search."
"The feature allows quick and easy access to anyone interested in case filings before the Supreme Court of Ohio. For more than 200 years there was one way to read a merit brief or other document in a case file at the Supreme Court – Physically visit the Clerk's Office and look in the file."

E-Courts 2006 Notes - Day One

Roger Winters has completed the first day of his extensive notes on the E-Courts 2006 Conference held this past December in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Are you prepared for Daylight Savings Time changes?

Recent communications from our friend Tom Hoffmann (Systems Manager at the Orange County, Florida Clerk of Courts) reminded us of the possible impact of Daylight Savings Time changes on IT systems. In August of 2005, President Bush signed the Energy Policy Act of 2005. This Act extends Daylight Savings Time by four weeks beginning in 2007, with the intended benefit being reduced energy consumption. DST will now begin on the second Sunday in March and end on the first Sunday in November.

This change could affect computers and applications that incorporate date and time processing functions or time stamps. Most applications and databases rely on the operating system clock for date and time functions. There is likely a patch for most operating systems that you’ve hopefully already applied. There is apparently also a problem with Java applications running under an older runtime environment (JRE). Most of our Court IT friends have probably already assessed the impact on their systems. For those who haven’t, now would be a good time. Many vendors have made available updates and/or recommended approaches to dealing with the change. Several links are provided below for articles on the subject and to pages from a few of the larger systems providers, but you should contact your system and application vendors for additional information.


Thursday, January 11, 2007

Courts Report on Technology Projects

Thanks to our friends in our Customer Service Desk here at the NCSC we received notes about two court automation projects. First, the Delaware Judiciary reported that they have successfully completed the first phase of the implementation of their new case management system.

And second, the Sioux City Journal reports on an interview of the Iowa's Chief Justice Marsha Ternus, regarding their efforts to go paperless. The Iowa Judicial Branch also posted proposed Rules for Electronic Filing in January, 2007.

Monday, January 8, 2007

National Information Exchange Model (NIEM) Executive Briefing

We received the following announcement regarding an upcoming meeting:

The NIEM Program Management Office is hosting a NIEM Executive Session on January 23, 2007, to brief CIO's, Chief Architects, Program Managers and their representatives from the Federal Government as well as other interested parties.

Topics to be covered will include the definition of NIEM, where NIEM is today, its business value, a high level overview of its architecture and enterprise architecture context, and how to become involved or get started.

NIEM, the National Information Exchange Model, is a partnership between the Department of Homeland Security and the US Department of Justice. NIEM is focused on (i) developing reusable data components, (ii) proving support for packaging these components into business context to make reusable exchange specifications, (iii) doing so across domains and communities of interest, and (iv) providing standards, governance, methods, tools, training and technical assistance to drive adoption, use, and value creation.

The vision for NIEM is to be the standard, by choice, for cross-government information exchange.

TIME & DATE: January 23, 2007, 9AM - Noon 

PLACE: American Association for Advancement of Science, 1200 New York Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20005. AAAS is located on 12th Street, NW, with entrances at H Street and New York Ave. The nearest metro stop is Metro Center. To download a detailed map of the area, please follow this link:

REGISTRATION: Please send response to if you plan to attend. There is no cost to attend but space is limited.