Information Technology

The Judicial Council of Georgia’s Administrative Office of the Courts Information Technology (JC/AOC IT) Division develops, supports and enhances automation projects for all levels of court throughout the State of Georgia. The JC/AOC IT Division offers consulting and research services, provisioning of hardware resources and compliance with legislative mandates as well as keeping up with industry fluctuations. JC/AOC IT utilizes an ‘Enterprise’ approach to offering solutions that have statewide applicability and can be leveraged for all court customers and ancillary entities. JC/AOC IT Staff also manages desktop software and equipment, virtual environments, the AOC network, e-mail, communications and multiple Judicial Branch websites.

In our interdependent court and criminal justice environment, oversight of relevant standards, policies and technical architecture promotes inter- and cross-agency collaboration. Partnerships with public and private organizations in setting standards and architecture have led to more efficient and effective technology solutions that benefit the citizens of Georgia.

JCIT actively participates in local and national groups that create policies, standards and rules for judicial process and technical implementations, including the Joint Technology Committee of the National Center for State Courts and CITOC, the Court Information Technology Officers Consortium.

The Administrative Office of the Courts offers product evaluation, installation, hardware recommendations & software requirements, training, and product support without cost to the local court. AOC provides robust court case management system applications for all levels of courts, an application to perform jury management and a traffic management program that incorporates uniform traffic citation reporting and fee and fine accounting in a single system for courts with traffic jurisdiction. These applications meet national standards, the requirements of state law and court rules, and are available to the courts of Georgia at no cost. AOC provides technical support for the local courts. Field staff can visit courts and provide limited on-site services or virtual assistance using remote access software for loading software, training, trouble shooting, and problem diagnosis for failures in hardware, software, and networking. AOC staff also assists local courts with guidance on evidence presentation technology, teleconferencing, and Internet access.

The Judicial Council/AOC Information Technology Division performs its work to improve the quality and stability of services provided to Georgia’s judicial stakeholders. In support of the strategic planning efforts of the Judicial Council, the IT Division has invested energy to ensure that services and products provided align with its Strategic Plan. We continue to manage case management solutions for approximately 120 Magistrate, Probate and Municipal Courts. Data Exchanges with numerous partners continues and with increases in the child support application customers, now at 137 superior courts. In 2016, a new version of PCIS was released. New courts are in production while others are requesting demos and access as fast as we can provide them. The SUSTAIN Justice Edition CMS remains actively supported in almost 60 courts throughout the State. We eagerly anticipate its successor, eCourt, late in 2017. Caseload reporting, Juvenile Data Exchange and Network updates for Disaster Recovery all continue as ongoing projects for our team.

Our hard-working staff provides experienced, dedicated, Georgia-based support for our technology offerings that our court clients have long appreciated. The JC/AOC-IT team adds value to the case management solutions software by our assistance. We are their first line of training and support, with many decades of combined experience working with the courts and court software. We provide judges and court personnel with a standard Georgia configuration, codes, and all the forms and reports used in Georgia

Reports

JC/AOC IT provides statewide reporting on data collected, in a uniform manner, as a benefit of systems we provide to the courts at no cost.

Downloads

Case Management Solutions

Court case management solutions allow clerks and judges to manage the large volume of documents they receive and also the court processes that are required to deal with cases before the court. JC/AOC IT provides installation, training and software support for the following systems at no cost to the individual courts of Georgia and ancillary judicial and non-judicial entities.

SUSTAIN Justice Edition and Sustain over Citrix

Sustain Justice Edition is the flagship court case management system that provides a method of organizing, storing, and retrieving case information to support a variety of court record keeping and case management functions. The SUSTAIN database supports all types of court cases, including civil, criminal, traffic, domestic relations, probate, juvenile and others. Georgia Automated Justice Information System (GAJIS), based on the SUSTAIN Justice Edition software package from Journal Technologies Inc. and configured specifically for the courts of Georgia, is provided as the fully functional standard case management system to any court at their request and at no cost. SUSTAIN JE improves the timeliness, accuracy and completeness of information by allowing multiple departments to share data. Electronic data transmission can eliminate the need for local counties to submit data in paper form. Any court using the software can transmit dispositions electronically to appropriate state agency databases. GAJIS can provide for case management in any level of court, law enforcement agencies, and prosecutors’ offices networked with the court. SUSTAIN Justice Edition offers superior data management tools that allow the court to efficiently conduct its business. It is somewhat dated in its technology, but very robust in the services it provides. These include:

  • A complete accounting package, including robust capabilities to spread fines and fees over multiple accounts;
  • Time standards to monitor and report case milestones;
  • Relational edits that define and enforce business rules to manage expected data entry based on preset, filtered parameters;
  • Calendaring and scheduling capabilities, including automatic assignment of cases to judges at initial data entry when desired;
  • Rich reporting using the powerful Crystal Reports software;
  • Notices and forms using Microsoft Word;
  • Field level auditing;
  • Child support and spousal support accounting enforcement;
  • Conflict checking to alert users when potential scheduling conflicts arise;
  • Data entry tools, including case initiation screens and mass data entry across multiple files;
  • Data exchange, providing the ability to share data among SUSTAIN databases.

SustainSUSTAIN Over Citrix®

SUSTAIN Over Citrix® is the web-enabled version of the SUSTAIN Justice Edition software application housed in our Judicial Data Center, maintained and administered by AOC IT personnel. Because the software is run remotely, the local court is relieved of the need to build and support a local host computing infrastructure.

 eCourt

eCourt is the latest offering from our long-time software partner, Journal Technologies, Inc. and will be the new premier case management system solution to meet the needs of courts of all sizes and jurisdictions. As a key component of the statewide data sharing initiative, its rich and evolving product features are available for appellate, superior, state, magistrate, juvenile, probate, traffic, municipal, and drug courts throughout the state of Georgia. The Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) case management framework is configurable to meet the specific needs of a specific customer court or agency. The product framework includes the features of enterprise-class court case management solutions for the entire justice community. eCourt is being offered to the courts of Georgia under an innovative, shared pricing arrangement between state and local levels of government. Our staff will be configuring eCourt for Georgia courts and migrating courts over during the year 2017. While migrating court data, we will increase our ability to import data from other court software to this case management system framework

Features for each framework include:
Access to case files and notes from anywhere on any web browser—no locally installed applications are necessary for full case management functionality from desktops, laptops, smart phones and tablets. eCourt’s graphical user interface is natively touch screen enabled. Because eCourt is browser-based, it’s very fast and designed for high speed performance. Information may be updated in eCourt from the bench, for example, using configurable judges’ tools. Calendars and views of each day’s docket—configured by person, by judge, by courtroom, by time—are all available with eCourt.

  • Reliable, powerful, dynamic, web-based tool to manage court workflow
  • Intuitive, highly customizable user-interface
  • Automated repetitive tasks like data entry and document generation
  • Automated, configurable notifications for text and email
  • Built-in workflow processing allows processes to change as courts or agencies evolve
  • Configurable triggers, time standards, workflow redirection, calendaring, and searching
  • Standard and ad-hoc reporting and data queries
  • Streamlined document management including creation, scan, and storage
  • Financial transactions, including creating financial obligations, taking payments from defendants, and generating payments to merchants and victims easily processed
  • Configuration, training, and knowledgeable, courteous, outstanding customer support
  • Built-in Web Services API to interface with 3rd party systems, agencies, and departments through NIEM standard XML data exchanges.
  • Public Access functionality to electronically file new cases, add documents to existing cases, make electronic payments, as well as search and view case information.

Magistrate Court Information System (MCIS)

MCIS is a web-delivered solution requiring little to no overhead for your court- only internet connectivity. We offer several layers of data redundancy on servers we host, both at our central data center, and our remote co-location.

MCIS contains a full accounting package including receipting all monies that pass through the court, automatic distribution of funds, printing of checks, and production of monthly accounting reports. The system can produce warrants and over 150 other document types, court calendars, and data critical reports. This product was developed and has been in use since 1991.

MCIS is provided at no charge to magistrate courts across the state. It provides core functionalities needed by the court, including:

    • issuing warrants
    • case tracking and management
    • management of fees and fines
    • creating court related documents
    • financial and caseload reporting

A small number of courts also take advantage of a Law Enforcement Interface that allows sworn law enforcement personnel to request and receive criminal warrants electronically. A few courts also pay a 3rd party integrator to connect the MCIS application with their local law enforcement application to achieve this functionality. The server that provides this functionality to the court is also hosted by the JC/AOC.

Probate Court Information System (PCIS)

PCIS is a web-delivered solution requiring little to no overhead for your court- only internet connectivity. We offer several layers of data redundancy on servers we host, both at our central data center, and our remote co-location.

PCIS was developed to combine the courts’ traffic citation maintenance functions with receipting and accounting functions. It goes further to include licenses, wills, guardianships and other responsibilities of the Probate Court. PCIS can produce orders, warrants, licenses, certificates, court calendars, and date critical reports. Traffic citations are formatted and sent electronically to the Department of Driver Services. Probate Court judges and staff can access the state’s vital records databases for birth, marriage, divorce, and death records through accounts and applications administered by AOC. In version 2 of our web solution, we have migrated our court clients to a fully-hosted system in our secure infrastructure and added enhanced features and functionality to handle all manner of responsibilities of the probate courts:

  • Estate proceedings, guardianships, wills for safekeeping
  • Marriage, firearms, other licenses, birth and death certificates
  • Court calendars, electronic document importing and scanning
  • Enhanced printing of all required reports and certificates
  • Electronic reminders and notifications
  • Electronically transmits marriage data via GAVERS to the Department of Public Health, Vital Records Division
  • Integration with PASP, the state’s firearms license card provider
  • Accurately accounts for fee collections and receipting
  • Automatically calculates proper disbursements to the appropriate parties
  • Available at no cost to any of the probate courts in the state of Georgia
  • Electronic document importing and scanning

Traffic Information Processing System (TIPS)

Traffic Information Processing System is a fully web-based software program that serves all classes of courts through automation of traffic violation processing and information sharing. TIPS was developed by the Administrative Office of the Courts in close association with the Department of Driver Services and the Governor's Office of Highway Safety. TIPS combines the traffic citation maintenance functions with receipting and accounting functions. Traffic citations are formatted according to the manner specified in the Georgia Electronic Citation Processing System (GECPS) standards and sent electronically to the Georgia Department of Driver Services. TIPS contains a full accounting package including receipting all monies that pass through the court, automatic distribution of funds in, printing of checks, and production of monthly accounting reports. The system can produce warrants and other document types, court calendars, and date critical reports. It is widely used by city and county municipal courts, juvenile and probate courts that have jurisdiction over traffic cases.

The system provides functionality including:

  • Citation tracking and processing
  • Fine and fee processing
  • DMVS reporting and removal of suspensions
  • Caseload and financial reporting
  • Electronic receipt of GSP citations

A software module to allow GBI and local law enforcement agencies to provide citations electronically to the courts using TIPS is currently being developed. As the state’s point of distribution of Georgia State Patrol citations to the courts, JC/AOC IT provides secure delivery of citations written by the Georgia State Patrol to all TIPS courts as well as courts who are registered for access through a secure web service. Citation data from GSP is delivered nightly to the jurisdiction indicated on the citation. The Department of Driver Services has requested that we work with them to develop standard format for real-time, web service transmittal of traffic case data from the court. We have also developed services to allow for private vendors to provide web-based payment of eligible traffic fines after a citation is entered.

More Information

Georgia Judicial Exchange (GAJE)

Georgia leads in the creation of the next generation of national electronic filing standards that will be used by courts to exchange documents and data. The work will create a foundation allowing for a number of filings with fully transactional processes. After the initial implementation of electronic filing, the work will expand to allow for filing of a sizeable range of legal documents in other types of cases and then further expand to allow for judicial data exchanges other than electronic court filing. Working with the Department of Human Resources’ Office of Child Support Services, JC/AOC provides the infrastructure and technology to transfer Child Support pleadings and documents to the superior courts in which the cases will be heard. This system interfaces with both the STARS system used by the child support offices and a variety of case management and docketing systems used by the courts. This electronic process greatly facilitates the filing and case initiation processes, saving both the Office of Child Support Services and the receiving courts a significant amount of time and resources. This system is the largest filer of civil case documents in the state. We continue our work in building data exchanges to share data among disparate systems used across the state.

GAJE Website

Georgia Jury Management System

The JC/AOC IT’s GA Jury application is a jury-management software system that aids the courts in management of grand and traverse jury pools. The system provides for automated input of data from the county master list and builds the boxes, computes statistics, makes random selection of jurors, prints lists, certifications, summons, checks, and mailing labels. Georgia Jury provides the courts a tool to select jury pools from among the list of eligible participants in the county. The program also creates and prints jury summons as well as checks to jurors who served on a jury.

Judicial Data Management Applications

Application Development

We develop applications to support the business needs of our customers and staff as well as hosting a number of applications, databases, and services built by our staff and 3rd party providers. We prioritize our portfolio of development projects based upon demonstrated state-wide needs; legal and business process requirements and resource availability. We also work with 3rd party providers to meet our customers’ needs when a project falls outside of our scope of expertise or resource availability. We have posted guidelines and a project request form on the help desk ticketing site with templates to guide customers in the application acquisition and development process.

Application Support

We support what we build. Application support is a large portion of where we spend our resources.

We also provide limited desktop support for a selection of Commercial, Off the Shelf (COTS) office productivity software, including LaserFiche, Microsoft Office and Adobe Acrobat. Our access to diagnose and repair these applications is limited in most cases to installation and/or configuration issues. If an issue occurs with a service or application provided by a 3rd party provider (either externally or hosted in our environment), we will contact the provider on behalf of our customer if requested. Although we will work with 3rd party providers when we can to facilitate quicker resolution to an issue, many of these resolutions are outside of our control. We will work with providers when requested to keep customers informed of issue resolution status.

Backup and Recovery

We back up critical systems and data on a regular schedule. The information we back up includes databases, server configurations, applications network files and critical infrastructure configurations. We are building an off-site Disaster Recovery environment that will support critical systems operations in the event that our primary datacenter suffers an outage.

Database Management

A significant part of our agency’s information assets reside in database systems. We build and support databases created in Oracle and Microsoft SQL Server as well as the Open Source databases, MySQL and Maria DB, including the Jasper reporting environment. We also manage these databases and back them up on a regular basis.

  • Caseload Reporting
  • Child Support Calculator
  • LaserFiche document management system
  • Reporting environment for various databases
  • Management of Data Warehouses for Juvenile Justice, Accountability Courts, and others
  • Data Sharing and Exchange
  • Data Collection
  • Data Extraction
  • Data Transformation
  • Data Consolidation
  • Reports
  • Creation
  • Hosting

Current Development Projects

JC/AOC IT resources are currently developing applications and solutions that will enable courts to more effectively operate and perform their required duties.

The Express
The “EXPRESS” is a compilation of services that will enable electronic transmission of citations from Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) to Courts and ultimately to the State. In conjunction with private Records and Case Management System vendors as well as several state agencies, the AOC is managing these efforts to enable electronic processing of citations from origination to disposed status reporting. An ultimate goal is to facilitate the exchanges of citation data across multiple organizations in an accurate, timely and efficient manner. EXPRESS is being developed and tested in phases and progress will be reported on a quarterly basis.
The Express Website

AOC Customer Portal

This service allows users to view and update their judicial information in the Court Information Directory. Users are also entering caseload reports via the portal, and the portal is being expanded to provide judges and court personnel with access to AOC-managed information regarding their particular courts.

This Portal now includes Case Reporting Modules for all levels of Court.
AOC Customer Portal

Website Services

Custom Development
Use of the Internet throughout the Judicial Branch has developed into an essential instrument in handling applications, communication and reporting. JC/AOC IT has taken an active role in developing web applications and hosting them for various groups. There is one full-time developer that manages access, availability, navigation and content for thirty three (33) active websites for councils, commissions and committees throughout the Judiciary.

Judicial Branch Websites
JC/AOC IT has implemented a content management tool to enable user updates and template based development, affecting our managed websites. With this software, We have been able to build web pages for all 760 Municipal, State, Magistrate and Probate Courts based on uniform templates. The template approach provides uniformity and consistency of information on an economical basis.

Website and Application Hosting
The JC/AOC is the state’s second largest government web site hosting organization (behind the Georgia Technology Authority).

In addition to maintaining and hosting web sites for the Judicial Council of Georgia and Administrative Office of the Courts at https://www.georgiacourts.gov, we provide site hosting for many of the judicial branch boards, councils and regulatory offices. Staff assists courts and other judicial agencies in developing effective web pages and selecting software to link their courts to this vital public information source.

The JC/AOC also provides portals that host internet-based applications, in cooperation with other state agencies, including:

  • Courts Information Directory with Court Relations Management
  • Payment processing interfaces to a variety of providers
  • Case Management Systems (as noted above)
  • Child Support Electronic Filing (GAJE-as noted above)
  • Mailing list services for group email delivery
  • Hosted Accountability Court Case Management

Infrastructure and Support Services

Infrastructure and Support services are the foundation of everything we do and support all the services we provide to our customers. The Judicial Data Centers are offsite, locations where the computer network hardware is used for hosting the databases, applications, and email that keeps the JC/AOC and the judicial branch operating. These locations provide the business continuity capability for our daily operations and secure in the event of a systemic interruption. JC/AOC IT consults with and assists AOC personnel in providing efficient administrative services to the courts; compiling, analyzing, and reporting on statistical, caseload, and financial data from the courts, formulating and submitting recommendations for improving the business processes within the judicial system. Using web dashboard technology, all the citizens of Georgia can monitor the work of Georgia’s judicial system.

The following Infrastructure and Support services are available between 8:30 am and 5:00 pm on weekdays unless other prior arrangements are made.

Hardware Support
Agency provided laptop and desktop computers as well as mobile devices are provided for the business use of staff. These devices are supported by the agency and may be replaced if IT determines that a device is defective, past its useful life or is no longer compatible with the agency’s operating environment.

Network Access
Access to technology resources over the agency’s IT infrastructure (including both wired and wireless networks as well as Virtual Private Networking) and access to internet based services and sites is provided for the business use of Judicial Council Administrative Office of the Courts staff, and affiliated agencies, such as Judicial Qualifications Commission, Board of Court Reporting, Georgia Commission on Dispute Resolution, Commission on Children in the Courts. Council of Accountability Court Judges, and Councils of the various classes of Court. A public wireless infrastructure is provided for access to email and internet sites for use by visitors and staff wishing to use devices not provided by the agency. This network access is monitored and users may be denied access for excessive capacity consumption. Illegal activity or violations of agency policy may result in action being taken in accordance with the agency’s policies.

Network Security
The services we provide to our customers rely upon the security, availability and integrity of the systems in our environment. We are improving our capability to monitor and manage our network infrastructure and servers to detect unauthorized access and malicious software in our environment to protect our agency’s information assets.

 

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