DocumentGet Pilot Succeeds
On October 9, 2018, the Blue Earth County Attorney’s Office became the first agency in the state to begin electronically receiving court documents on demand from the Judicial Branch case management system directly into its local internal case management system.
In the first seven weeks of the pilot, the County Attorney’s Office received more than 8,000 case documents through this enhanced integration, saving the Office dozens of hours of staff time once spent manually downloading documents through Minnesota Government Access (MGA).
Based on the success of the pilot, State Court Administration is now marketing this new service – called ‘DocumentGet’ – to other government partners across the state as an enhanced customer service that will improve efficiency and information-sharing throughout Minnesota’s justice system.
A grant from the Court Technology Fund helped the Judicial Branch complete the necessary integration development to allow electronic transfer of documents. The grant also funded the development needed to prepare the Blue Earth County Attorney’s case management system to request and receive the documents.
Now that this integration service has been developed, the Judicial Branch can easily establish the same integration with any other government justice partner in the state, after the justice partner makes the necessary configurations to its local case management system.
Currently, nearly 600 government agencies across the state are using the online MGA portal to access court documents remotely. Court Rules determine which documents are available to agencies through this portal. While MGA has been incredibly successful, it can be time-consuming for government partners to download large numbers of documents through the system. Each document must be accessed individually, then manually downloaded to the local agency’s network or device.
Through DocumentGet, the Blue Earth County Attorney’s Office can access the same documents as it could through MGA, but Office staff can now locate a court file and have selected documents from the file instantly transferred into their case management system.
In its Court Technology Fund application, the Blue Earth County Attorney’s Office estimated this automation would save 150 hours per week in staff time, which is the equivalent of $13,000 per month.
The addition of DocumentGet does not eliminate the court’s obligation to serve certain documents on justice partners.
Any justice partner interested in DocumentGet should review the DocumentGet service page on the Court Integration Services site.
Specialization Teams Developed
As part of promoting reengineering as part of the Judicial Branch Strategic Plan, two specialized teams were developed within the Fifth Judicial District in 2018.
The new Financial Processing Team includes a team lead and four staff members who now perform financial processing for all 15 counties in the District.
The new Judgments Team consists of a team lead and four specialists devoting about 15-20 hours per week each on processing judgments for the entire District. Case processing by this Team includes default judgments, confessions of judgment, foreign judgements, issue and return of writs of execution, affidavits of increased costs, and satisfaction and discharge of judgments. Statistics indicate this Team has been highly successful in providing a more efficient process for performing this very specialized work.