May 2, 2012 By Sarah Rich
Lawyers, judges and anyone else who’s interested in tracking the Charleston County, S.C., Circuit Court can now bookmark their favorite court cases through a new Web application.
Announced by the County Clerk’s Office this week, the new application, CourtPlus, helps users search for and access specific civil, criminal or general court case records — either from a computer or mobile device. Robert Duncan, operations manager for the County Clerk of Court and an IT specialist, said users have the option of saving a list of their favorite cases and can receive notifications when certain updates occur — for things like roster activity or new filings.
Duncan said lawyers, paralegals, and judges would benefit from the bookmarking feature. The general public and media also have shown interest. To enable the bookmarking feature, users must create a user name and password for the application. The database is searchable by party name, case or case number. In addition, attorneys can search for cases by American Bar Association number.
“Once you do the search, you get a hit list with plus signs next to them,” Duncan said. “So if you wanted to add these cases to your My Cases list, you could just click the green plus signs [located next the cases] individually or select all the cases on the page and then use the one at the top to add them to your My Cases.”
For civil court cases, users can access scanned documents, except in instances of sealed court cases. Online documents from general, family and criminal court cases are not available through the application.
Julie Armstrong, the county’s clerk of court, said in the coming weeks Charleston County’s family court cases will be searchable and able to be tracked, making all court case types available through the application.
Aside from the newly released court case tracking application, the county clerk’s office announced a new free, public Wi-Fi network accessible through the county’s Judicial Center and a new option allowing prospective jurors to fill out forms online — a service the clerk’s office believes is the first of its kind available in South Carolina.
Each court term, 300 Charleston County residents receive a juror summons. In the past they were required to fill out paper forms and mail them back. Through the new online service, prospective jurors can submit the proper forms on CharlestonCounty.org. Jury duty exemption forms also are available on the site.
“I would prefer our citizens be online versus waiting in line,” Armstrong said. “We will continue to look for opportunities to improve our services to the citizens of Charleston County.”
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