Case management systems – What’s working today?

Posted on November 19, 2012


As many of us are aware, many court systems are beginning to run out of time on the issue of case management systems. The reason that they’re running out of time is because the AOC discouraged all other courts from pursuing their own case management solutions for nearly ten years while they re-invented the wheel.

Okay so they also chose to change the road a bit to a catenary road and tried to get everyone to replace all their roads so their wheel would work but that’s beside the point. The point here is that if CCMS V4 were a viable product after pouring more than a half of a billion dollars into it, we wouldn’t be discussing case management alternatives because it would be pointless to have spent over a half billion dollars on something you don’t intend to use.

It is like wasting this money with a huge underscore, bold caps and a few exclamation points to emphasize that you’re really serious about blowing this much money. Reality tells us that the project had a whole lot of development effort that was required to make the product functional and facts tell us that these integral pieces were separated from this project by Mr. Mark Moore so that he could declare his mission complete.  Then they went and accepted the incomplete project which started the warranty clock running.

As the AOC reaches out to Sacramento for funding for future case management solution or solutions, Sacramento is pushing back and is asking what the plan is because they don’t want to fund another CCMS boondoggle. Of course, no one in the AOC has any viable plan so that funding won’t be coming this year but rest assured that someone with zero experience with software development will be charged with coming up with the plan.

Some of our contacts ask why people don’t simply provide a developed, off the shelf Microsoft Sharepoint solution with a storage area network on the back end so we bounced that idea off of others and were told it was because the AOC wants to use a custom program that they own and control with an Oracle as a back end to whatever the front end is. We find that kinda silly given the expense and complexity of an Oracle solution but we’re also being  told that the AOC has their eye firmly on the prize of being able to claw back trial court funds to the AOC to support their existence by owning and operating the program on the courts behalf.

Already today, many adjoining counties have embarked on sharing their existing case management systems with courts from other counties. what should be obvious is that off-the-shelf solutions like e-court & sustain which is used in hundreds of courts or Tyler Technologies Odyssey program, which is used by Mark Moore (of CCMS fame) in Minnesota and has been for about 10 years are available today.

The bottom line is that there are affordable solutions out there that will not be all things to all courts but are good enough and affordable enough for courts to implement today without a raft of development. For the most part, these systems only need to be configured to provide case management solutions.

What case management system does your court use? Would you advocate its expansion to other courts?