CCMS is …. crippled.

Posted on March 28, 2012


ABC News – California Pulls the plug on multi-billion dollar computer system.

Judicial Council Watcher wishes to extend a warm thank you to the many people who’ve worked to expose CCMS’s three to five billion dollar court records racket that the Judicial Council and the AOC sought to establish. Every man, woman and child across this state has contributed 15.00 apiece towards this project and the latest projections had every man, woman and child in the state paying ten times that amount for this boondoggle.

Understand that this battle is far from over

A year ago we heard a certain chief justice indicate that she couldn’t think of a better investment. Back then we suggested she step away from the crack pipe. We’re also getting wind that the change of heart might not be all that altruistic after all – but the subject of people investigating with more people demanding a wider investigation.

As Judge Rosenberg found out, as Justice California has learned, as technology experts and evangelists across the state have been saying for some time, off the shelf solutions that are far less expensive then our so-called leadership can deliver are being delivered to courts across this country every month.

Here’s a few images of the hard working people of San Francisco Superior Court and SEIU 1021 who are helping to bring an end to this monster with more pics to come.

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Here’s a previous SEIU 1021 video.


PCWorld Australia

California scraps massive courts software project

Hundreds of millions of dollars had already been spent on the effort, which would have modernized the state’s court system software
California’s Judicial Council has put the brakes on a long-running, massive software project that was supposed to modernize the state’s trial courts case-management systems, saying the software is viable but that there’s simply no money to continue installing it.
The council, which sets policy for California’s courts, made the decision on Tuesday to halt the rollout of the California Court Case Management System (CCMS).
“What we do best in the judicial branch is to weigh the evidence and make reasoned and deliberate decisions,” Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye said in a statement. “The council’s decision to stop deployment of CCMS was responsible and prudent in view of our budget situation and the facts we gathered on the actual costs of deployment. CCMS works. 
Unfortunately, we don’t have the resources to deploy it.”
An independent audit found that it would cost US$343 million to deploy and support CCMS version four to 11 courts through fiscal year 2020-2021, according to the Judicial Council. 

Some $333.3 million has been spent so far on the third and fourth versions of CCMS, it said.
Earlier versions of CCMS are already implemented at a number of trial courts. But they aren’t as advanced as version four, which can “handle all case types, provide for data exchange, and provide public access to cases across the state,” according to a statement. The Judicial Council voted on Tuesday to continue supporting those earlier implementations.
Now, the CCMS Internal Committee will make recommendations to the council for “other ways” to use the CCMS technology and the state’s investment in it “as well as develop new strategies to assist courts with failing case management systems,” according to a statement.
The system’s total cost had been estimated to be roughly $2 billion.
California’s economy has been struggling for years, leading to deep cuts in state government spending. The trial courts weren’t spared, experiencing a $350 million cut in the current fiscal year. 
Those pressures no doubt influenced the council’s decision to pull the plug on CCMS, which dates back to 2001 and was meant to supplant some 70 separate case management systems.
Deloitte, which served as the main systems integrator on the project, will get a $16 million cost reimbursement, according to a statement. A spokesman for Deloitte did not respond to a request for comment on the council’s decision.
CCMS’ demise had been foreshadowed for some time.
Last year, the state’s auditor released a scathing report on the project, saying that even if the rollout was completed, it could become outdated shortly thereafter. It might also be impossible to realize the expected return on investment predicted by an independent consultant, the auditor’s report said at the time.
Overall, the CCMS system’s woes drew a shocked reaction from Michael Krigsman, an expert on IT project failures and CEO of the consulting firm Asuret.
“I am dumbstruck over the incredible waste and obvious poor planning associated with this system,” Krigsman said via email. “This failure only adds to California’s reputation as the land of IT boondoggles. It is time to re-evaluate how California handles IT-related investment projects. Something needs to change.”
The Alliance of California Judges issues this statement in response to the action by the Judicial Council to shelve CCMS:
In 2009 the Judicial Council (JC) voted unanimously to close all courtrooms one day a month. This unprecedented action was taken at the same time hundreds of  millions of dollars were being spent on a failed computer system. Members of the JC then opposed a legislative audit of CCMS in 2010. Thankfully that audit occurred  and we now know what a financial disaster this mismanaged project has cost the public:closed courtrooms, massive staff lay offs, and diminished service to those who seek redress through their courts.
Today’s action is only the first step and we remain concerned that the JC has not truly and completely abandoned this failed project. An investigation needs to be launched to determine whether the public is entitled to any reimbursement for the over $500 million that has been wasted. Furthermore, those responsible for this debacle must be identified and appropriate action taken so that the judicial branch is protected in the future.
The lack of oversight and failed management of this project underscores the desperate need for reform of the courts governance structure. Our system works best with checks and balances. It fails when there exists only a blank check. 


Today, at a meeting of the Judicial Council discussing the future of the California Case Management System (CCMS) CJA President Judge David M. Rubin, speaking on behalf of the association, shared the following:

CJA’s first priority is to ensure the public full‑time access to our courts by keeping courtrooms open and adequately staffed. It is the only way to assure a vital and robust Judicial Branch. The budget forecast this year is bleak, and even that may turn out to be optimistic. Not only has our beleaguered branch suffered an unprecedented 650 million dollars in cuts, we face another possible 125 million dollar reduction later this year. While we have prepared for the worst, that may not be good enough.

CJA’s position with respect to CCMS deployment must take into account whether its deployment will adversely impact our branch priorities. Even understanding the front-loaded nature of the costs associated with V4 deployment to the first 11 courts, those costs appear staggering. Under these circumstances we at CJA do not believe the council can push on with CCMS as a branch‑wide technology solution and we back option 3

Option 3 – Terminate V4 as a statewide solution and leverage the developed technology and software to benefit ongoing judicial branch technology solutions. The cost estimate for Option 3 is $8.7 million through FY 2012–2013. Option 3 would end V4 as a statewide program for the California trial courts representing a major policy shift in Judicial Council technology direction and approach. While this option recognizes the fiscal environment that has dramatically limited the ability of the Judicial Council to maintain court operations for the public, it also recognizes and protects the significant investment of $333.3 million the judicial branch has made in the V3 and V4 software product it now owns. This option proposes to analyze and potentially leverage the technical infrastructure, application functionality, processes, and artifacts, ensuring the assets owned by the judicial branch will be used to meet ongoing need for technology solutions for the California trial courts.

With 2,500 members, CJA recognizes different courts have different needs when it comes to on‑going technology solutions, including those involving various versions and parts of CCMS. This Council needs to work with those courts, like San Luis Obispo and others, which now suffer from antiquated technology systems. And, this has to be achieved within the limits of our austere budget.

Judges understand that in what feels like a downsizing of the branch from budget cuts, technology helps us leverage our dwindling resources. We want to be as efficient as possible so that we can continue to answer the call of California’s citizens. Technology is one of the keys that will keep our courtrooms open and fully functioning.

There are many approaches out there that should be explored. CJA believes that even as the council considers these options we must continue looking forward. Part of looking to the future, is if economically feasible leverage the technology for use in local courts. This council may also wish to task its Presiding Judges Advisory committee working with a new technology, committee contemplated in option 3, with establishing a common set of case management system requirements, letting each court purchase the system it feels best fit its needs while adhering to a common convention, allowing for a future where our branch will have the  enhanced communication between courts and to the public, currently envisioned. This is only one of several approaches that might be explored.

In the end, we need to make sure our courts have the technology necessary to be responsive to litigants in a mobile society. We must become more efficient and effective in the 21st century. The only acceptable means to accomplish this is one that is fiscally responsible and that does not sacrifice our mission to provide full and fair access to justice.


Letter from Douglas Miller


Today the Judicial Council met in a special, full-day session to review options for statewide court technology in the context of the state fiscal crisis and unprecedented budget reductions to the courts. We made the difficult decision to stop the deployment of the California Court Case Management System (CCMS).

An integrated, statewide case management system has been the vision of leaders in the courts and state government for more than a decade. The initial goal of replacing costly and sometimes failing local case management systems was expanded over the years to include services for many justice system partners and the public.

As development of the system reached its critical final phase, the state fiscal crisis and severe budget constraints delayed completion of the final product. In recent years, the council redirected more than $170 million from the project to ameliorate budget reductions to the courts. When the final product, CCMS V4, was delivered last November, the council initiated an independent review of the costs for deployment.

That analysis by Grant Thornton provided the factual basis for our discussion today. At an estimated cost of $343 million for deployment to 11 courts over the next 10 years, the state cannot afford to continue its investment in CCMS now, even if it is to achieve longer term efficiencies and cost benefits in the future. Instead, the Judicial Council directed that CCMS V4 be terminated, and that the software and technology be leveraged for data exchange, document management, e-filing, electronic access, and other critical needs. The many hours that hundreds of judges, court staff, and others have devoted to the development of CCMS will not be lost. Additionally, the council’s decision on CCMS will make $46.4 million available for other judicial branch priorities in fiscal year 2012–2013.

With respect to the interim CCMS products being used in seven trial courts, the council agreed to continue supporting the operation and maintenance of these products, and work to assist other courts with failing systems.

As significant as the decision is to end CCMS, in my view the more important decision coming out of the council meeting today is the council’s direction to develop a new branch technology vision and roadmap.

Over the next several months Judge James Herman, chair of the council’s CCMS Internal Committee, will be holding meetings and soliciting your ideas for bringing California’s courts into the digital age. I hope that supporters and critics of CCMS alike will contribute to creating a new plan for statewide court technology.

A news release on the meeting outcomes will be issued shortly, and you will receive a detailed meeting summary memo from the chairs of the council’s internal committees, but I wanted to share the news of this decision with you as early as possible. I welcome your comments and your participation as we look to the challenges ahead.

Douglas P. Miller
Associate Justice, Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District
Chair, Executive & Planning Committee of the Judicial Council of California

Distributed via Email to:
Justices of the Supreme Court
Justices of the Courts of Appeal
Judges of the Superior Courts
Commissioners and Referees of the Superior Courts
Clerk of the Supreme Court
Clerk/Administrators of the Courts of Appeal
Court Executive Officers of the Superior Courts

cc: Hon. Tani Cantil-Sakauye, Chief Justice of California and Chair of the Judicial Council
Members of the Judicial Council
Chairs of the Judicial Council Advisory Committees
Ms. Jody Patel, Interim Administrative Director of the Courts
Mr. Curt Soderlund, Interim Chief Deputy Director, Administrative Office of the Courts
AOC Regional Administrative Director and Division Directors


Letter from Dave Rosenberg

From: Rosenberg Dave []
Sent: Thursday, March 29, 2012 7:50 AM

Colleagues,Here’s the weekly newsletter for PJ’s.

Case Management and the Courts.   From the perspective of our Judicial Branch, the most significant event of the week was the Judicial Council’s consideration and action on CCMS.    A full day – Tuesday – was devoted to a special meeting of the JC on CCMS and court technology.   I attended this meeting as a non-voting advisory member of the JC.  Speaking for PJs, I made my position known before and during the meeting:   We must stop deployment of CCMS (V-4) as the sole statewide solution for the case management needs of trial courts, and we must allow trial courts to make their own case management and technology choices.   I am pleased to say that the JC, in fact, took that very position.   The JC also agreed to provide continued operation and maintenance support to seven trial courts which are using interim CCMS products (V-2 and V-3), and also to assist other courts with failing case management systems.  In my mind, the JC has now removed the CCMS “monopoly” and has opened the doors and windows of competition allowing trial courts to choose the case management system that best suits the needs of each trial court – whether that be an existing product or components of CCMS.  Personally, I believe that this competition among case management systems will not only provide a less expensive product, but will allow each trial court to tailor a system that best meets its needs.  It is also my hope that trial courts and other Branch leaders can come together in the next few months (1) to develop minimum standards for case management systems, and (2) to develop a new Branch technology vision going forward.   But bottom line: the vision of CCMS as the sole source for court case management in the future – is no longer the current vision.  

Ethics Training and Compliance Forms.   This is just an early reminder that judicial officers enrolled in the Commission on Judicial Performance insurance program must complete ethics training (three-hour mandatory core course plus two hours of electives) by December 31, 2012, and must submit a compliance form by January 31, 2013. Of the 2225 justices, judges, and subordinate judicial officers enrolled, there are approximately 1400 who have not yet submitted their compliance forms.  (Note:  If you took the bench after January 1, 2010, you satisfied (or will satisfy) your ethics training requirement by attending New Judge Orientation or the B. E. Witkin Judicial College.)

Once you have completed your ethics training, you can download a compliance form at: and submit it.  If you have not yet completed the training, a list of upcoming core courses and information about electives are available on the AOC Education Division website at  You can also find a Frequently Asked Questions about the insurance policy and training and reporting requirements at Branch Funds.  For your background, I have attached a Power Point presentation that was given to the Judicial Council on the “status of judicial branch funds” that you may find informative.   On May 31 we will have an all-day meeting open to all PJs with a focus on the Branch budget.  More information on this meeting will follow in the coming weeks.


Dave Rosenberg