Decatur County, Ind., to Adopt New Court Case Management System

The move toward the Odyssey Case Management software will bring the county in line with 62 others using the product.

by Bill Rethlake, Greensburg Daily News / December 5, 2018

(TNS) — Decatur Superior Court Judge Matthew D. Bailey and Circuit Court Judge Timothy B. Day spoke with the County Commissioners Monday concerning the proposed implementation of the free Odyssey Case Management software system currently in use by 62 Indiana counties, proposing it’s implementation in Decatur County.

Day told the commissioners “I am here today to seek your blessing on changing our case management system. I am here on behalf of Clerk Adina Roberts, Judge Bailey, and myself, representing the clerk’s office and the two courts.”

“A case management system from, our standpoint, is how cases and pleadings are filed through the clerk’s offices... how they are stored, categorized, indexed and ultimately retrieved, and how information is shared between the courts and the attorneys who are involved in cases, Day told Commissioners Nobbe, Koors, and Buening. He continued, explaining that considering the Decatur County courthouse and clerk’s office has been paperless for nearly a year, it was going to be simply “an issue of new software.”

Day explained, “The Indiana State Court Administration has been seen fit to ask us all to be on a common case manager system, and they feel strongly enough about it to pay for its installation in every county in the state, and have been paying for it since it’s introduction nearly 10 years ago.”

Day told the commissioners that Decatur County is one of 16 counties not yet on the Odyssey Case Management system, the system chosen by the state. “All the other counties are either in process, or are on a waiting list for installation, and I have seen fit to put ourselves on that waiting list as well, anticipating the County’s approval,” Day said.

As detailed at www.in.gov, “The Odyssey Case Management System is a fully integrated case and financial management system designed specifically for statewide deployment. It is a web-based computer system, allowing configuration to be accomplished centrally, while still supporting both statewide and county-specific rules.”

Odyssey is an online person-based system, which allows for a directory of people and entities, making Indiana trial courts and court clerks jobs managing caseloads faster and more cost-effective.

Users of Indiana trial court information — law enforcement agencies, state policymakers, and state and federal agencies will all have access, making information more timely and accurate. Appropriate court information is available via the Internet, reducing the need to call or go to a courthouse. The costs of trial court operations borne by Indiana counties are reduced.

With Odyssey Supervision, probation officers can monitor and track appointments, drug test results and sanctions and other activities for every individual monitored through the probation department.

Day continued, saying “it’s pretty much a ‘no-brainer’...the state is paying for it, and it will save us about $20,000 a year not continuing our current case management provider.”

Day said the Odyssey system has good training and the backing of the State Administration system, adding “currently, lawyers using our system can’t pull up actual pleadings from their offices to see them.”

Judge Day said that there were, however, drawbacks. “The training will be difficult, because we’ll be relearning how to do it...it’s not apples to apples. Having talked to counties for whom Odyssey was their first system, they were good with it. But for counties who are just now switching...not so much.”

Day explained saying that Odyssey tasks involved a few more steps, but all in all “what we’re hearing is that the end result is good.”

“At this point, having waited so long to consider it, it will be 2020 before we would be able to switch it over. So, had we started earlier, we could have saved ourselves another $20,000.”

Day explained that the state would be supplying the county with the extra equipment (computer screens) needed for the switchover. “Touch screens were needed, but if Decatur County applied now, before those grants run out...”

He finished, saying “there’s every reason to do it and not one reason for waiting anymore.”

Commissioner Koors asked Day if the training would be at another location, or if it would be done here on-site, to which Day answered, “they will come here for two weeks of training. The good part is that it will soon be a statewide system, and we’ll have the backing of the state core administration system. Being paperless now, if something were to go wrong with the other providers, what would we do? Plus the state advisors want it to be ‘apples to apples.’ They feel strongly enough about it to pay for it.”

Judge Bailey added, “This is just an eventuality...they want it to happen. And after us, there will just be a handful waiting, if that many. We waited as long as we could, we investigated it. We worked with Adina, and she’s all for it. There is not a resolution from the state yet, but it’s just a matter of time.”

Nobbe asked, “So, post-20200, we’ll be saving at least $20,000 each year.” Bailey said, “Maybe even $25,000,” and Janet Chadwell added, “I think it’s closer too $27,000.”

Noting the report that the program was ‘aggravating to learn,’ he asked if additional staffing would be needed when the new software was implemented to which both Day and Bailey both answered “no.”

Bailey told the commissioners “another advantage to this is as a private citizen is that you can go to mycase.com, and see where your case is at the moment, totally free. That’s a huge advantage. Being able to sit at home an look at court documents.”

Nobbe said, “I’m for anything that doesn’t cost more and doesn’t require more staffing.” He asked for a motion to approve Day’s and Bailey’s requests, and the motion was carried unanimously.

©2018 the Greensburg Daily News (Greensburg, Ind.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.