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Florida Courts Technology Commission Overview. February 19, 2014. FCTC Overview.

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FCTC Overview

  • The FCTC was established in Rule 2.236 as a standing Supreme Court commission in 2010. The purpose of the FCTC is to advise the Chief Justice and Supreme Court on matters relating to the use of technology in the Judicial Branch.
  • The FCTC shall have primary responsibility to coordinate and review recommendations with regard to all court policy matters relating to the use of technology in support of the effective administration of justice.
  • The committees or workgroups that may be established shall adhere to technology policies and standards adopted by the Commission, shall regularly report the progress of their work to the Commission and shall recommend any action that the Commission should take as the result of their work.

FCTC Overview (continued)

  • The Commission shall prepare for each calendar year a report which it will submit to the Supreme Court by April 1 of the following calendar year.
  • Members: Judge Lisa Taylor Munyon (chair); Judge Martin Bidwill; Mary Cay Blanks; Sharon Bock; Judge Sheree Cunningham; Barbara Dawicke; David Ellspermann; Tom Genung; Judge Robert Hilliard; Chris Hinnant; Judge C. Alan Lawson; Jannet Lewis; Laird Lile; Ted McFetridge; Dennis Menendez; Judge Manuel Menendez; Ken Nelson; Judge Stevan Northcutt; Paul Regensdorf; Judge George Reynolds; Karen Rushing; Murray Silverstein; Kent Spuhler and Judge Scott Stephens

E-Filing Committee

  • The E-filing Committee was established in 1996. The E-Filing Committee assist the Supreme Court and the Office of the State Courts Administrator by reviewing proposed plans submitted by clerks of courts to implement the electronic filing of documents. Specifically the committee shall:
    • Review the proposed processes to ensure compliance with established standards.
    • Review the control processes and procedures being proposed to ensure adequate integrity, security and confidentiality; and to ensure compliance with specific directives established by the Supreme Court in April 2007.
    • Review whether the proposal will provide adequate public access to electronically-filed documents and ensure adherence to the privacy requirements as outlined in AOSC07-49 and any subsequent applicable orders of the Supreme Court.
    • Review any other issues relating to the implementation of electronic filing systems that the FCTC deem appropriate.

E-Filing Committee Overview

  • The E-filing committee is responsible for reviewing applications for e-filing and e-processes (e-initiatives) and updating the e-filing standards.
  • The E-filing committee developed the Standards for Electronic Access to the Courts. The standards are currently in its eleventh version, most recently updated in October 2013. The committee recognizes that this will continue to be an evolving document as e-filing is fully implemented.
  • Members: Judge Manuel Menendez (chair); Jannet Lewis; Kim Skievaski; Karen Rushing; Judge Martha Warner; Paul Regensdorf; Judge George Reynolds

E-Portal Subcommittee

  • The E-Portal Subcommittee was established to work with the FCCC on development of and modifications to the e-portal and serve as a liaison group between the FCTC and the E-Filing Authority Board.
  • In 2010, the Florida Courts E-Portal was developed and began accepting electronic filings on January 1, 2011. The portal is designed to be a delivery method to local case management systems.
  • The E-Filing Authority Board has exclusive jurisdiction over the portal and the FCTC is an advisory group to the Board regarding portal concerns.
  • Members: Judge George Reynolds (chair); Craig McLean; Dennis Menendez; Laird Lile; Murray Silverstein; Tom Genung; Mary Cay Blanks; Chips Shore; Ken Nelson; Melvin Cox; Sunny Nemade; John Tomasino; Dr. Carole Pettijohn; Nichole Hanscom and Thomas Morris

E-Portal Subcommittee Overview

  • Identified and developed the envelope data elements required for the clerk to receive and accurately process initial and subsequent filings.
  • Developed time stamp standards for documents submitted through the portal.
  • Established the E-Portal User Work Group to review the functionality of the statewide portal and to coordinate with the E-Filing Authority on issues and concerns they discover.
  • Established the Non-Attorney Access Work Group to recommend and prioritize user groups to be added to the portal.
  • Established the Subaccounts for Paralegals Work Group to determine if an enhancement of the portal on subaccounts for paralegals/non-attorneys or assigning people their own credentials is warranted.

E-Portal Subcommittee Overview - Continued

  • In the process of recommending and establishing a process for dealing with attorneys who are not in compliance with e-filing requirements.
  • Working with CMS Standards committee in developing a uniform docket entries standard.
  • Continue to review revisions that are needed to enhance the portal.

Funding Subcommittee

  • The Funding Subcommittee was established to identify funding sources for current and future technology projects.
  • The Funding Subcommittee was tasked to determine the cost of a statewide integrated computer system and identify the presently available and potential income streams and other resources to pay for such a system.
  • Members: Judge Stevan Northcutt (chair); Judge C. Alan Lawson; Jannet Lewis; Ken Nelson; Laird Lile; Ted McFetridge; Judge Scott Stephens; Judge Lisa Taylor Munyon; Ken Kent; Karen Rushing; Tom Woods; Chris Hinnant and Sharon Bock

Funding Subcommittee Overview

  • The subcommittee worked with two consultants from the NCSC gathering and analyzing information on developing the NCSC, Florida Statewide Case Management System Implementation and Funding Strategies report.
  • The subcommittee recommended to the Supreme Court that the Trial Court Budget Commission (TCBC) is the most appropriate body to make funding recommendations for the trial courts.
    • Chief Justice Polston has the tasked the TCBC to identify the funding needs and revenue streams.

Compliance Subcommittee

  • The Compliance Subcommittee was established in January 2012 to provide insight and ensure standards and policies are being followed, as well as to develop processes whereby programs, systems or applications that appear not to be in compliance with technology standards are brought to the attention of the Commission for further action.
  • The Compliance Subcommittee worked in conjunction with the Reports Subcommittee to develop a survey to determine the varying levels of compliance with e-access, specifically focusing on new systems and/or substantial changes/modifications to an existing system(s).
  • Analyzed and recommended action by the FCTC on the Seventeenth Circuit’s administrative order regarding hybrid files.
  • Members: Judge Judith Kreeger (chair); Judge C. Alan Lawson; Judge Manuel Menendez; Tom Genung; Ken Nelson and Sharon Bock

Education and Outreach Subcommittee

  • The Education and Outreach subcommittee was established to assist in developing outreach and educational programs that provide information regarding new procedures and court rules that are adopted in the course of implementing statewide e-filing and the use of the statewide e-portal.
  • Partner with the Florida Bar and other groups to expand the knowledge base of all users of Florida courts.
  • Members: Judge Judith Kreeger (chair); Murray Silverstein; Judge Sheree Cunningham; Mary Cay Blanks; Kent Spuhler and Paul Regensdorf

Education and Outreach Subcommittee Overview

  • The subcommittee worked with The Florida Bar and the FCCC on educational opportunities surrounding rule 2.526 and developed a training program being offered to judicial branch staff by OSCA and Supreme Court staff and a separate CLE course for attorneys provided by The Florida Bar.
  • Collaborated with The Florida Bar to produce a webinar presentation regarding rules 2.420 and 2.425.
  • Collaborated with FCCC to constitute a workgroup to map out the process flows for effective e-service through the statewide portal.
  • As e-filing becomes more widely used across the state, the subcommittee will expand its outreach efforts surrounding new rules of court, standards and other directives.
  • Continue to actively promote and participate in various local continuing education programs concerning Rules 2.420 and 2.415 in different parts of the State.

Rules Subcommittee Overview

  • The Rules subcommittee was established to make recommendations to the Supreme Court regarding policies for public access to electronic court records, thus continuing the effort to implement certain recommendations of the Privacy Committee.
  • The subcommittee continues to work with the Rules of Judicial Administration on changes and updates to rules as e-filing and e-service become more available through the e-portal.
  • The subcommittee also continues to discuss the issue of requiring system users to provide identification information and developing a unique identifier for each user.
  • Members: Paul Regensdorf (chair); Murray Silverstein; Judge Scott Stephens; Mary Cay Blanks and Kent Spuhler

Trial Court Integrated Management Solution (TIMS) Subcommittee

  • The TIMS subcommittee was established to develop an automated solution to address certain major needs of the trial court system and to identify critical information necessary to move cases efficiently and effectively through the adjudicatory process.
  • The TIMS subcommittee developed functional requirements for a Court Application Processing System (CAPS) or judicial viewer.
      • The judicial viewer allows judges to prepare, electronically sign, file and serve orders in court and have them immediately entered into the clerks’ system.
  • Members: Judge Scott Stephens(chair), Judge George Reynolds,
  • Judge Sheree Cunningham, Tom Genung, Ted McFetridge, Mike Bridenback, Craig McLean, Dennis Menendez, Ken Nelson, Jon Lin, Chris Hinnant, Chips Shore and Karen Rushing

Certification Subcommittee

  • The Certification subcommittee was established to view demonstrations of judicial viewers and certify vendors in compliance with the CAPS standards. Any system implemented must adhere to the standards and vendors must be certified to sell their product to any county in Florida.
  • Members: Judge George Reynolds (chair); Judge Terence Perkins; Mike Bridenback; Tom Genung; Jannet Lewis; Ken Nelson; Dennis Menendez; Craig McLean and Jon Lin

Types of Certification

  • Full Certification is when a vendor has fully complied with all of the CAPS standards and the current version of the Florida Supreme Court Standards for Electronic Access to the Courts.
      • Mentis Technologies and the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit received full certification on April 30, 2013.
  • Provisional Certification is when a vendor’s system meets only a part of the CAPS standards and the current version of the Florida Supreme Court Standards for Electronic Access to the Courts. Provisional certification is for six months and may be renewed at the discretion of the FCTC.
      • Pioneer Technology Group and the Eighth Judicial Circuit’s provisional certification expires on February 10, 2014.

Technical Standards Subcommittee

  • The Technical Standards subcommittee was established to update technical standard documents related to court technology.
  • Members: Jannet Lewis (chair); Judge Manuel Menendez; Judge Robert Hilliard; Judge Terence Perkins; Ken Nelson; Dennis Menendez; Sunny Nemade; Gary Hagan; Steve Shaw and Mike Phelps

Technical Standards Subcommittee Overview

  • Updates the Integration and Interoperability document which is a technical document that defines the preliminary requirements and potential standards for integration and interoperability in the judicial branch (e.g., hardware and software platforms, network infrastructure and methods for data exchange).
  • Working in conjunction with the FCCC’s Technology Workgroup to perform an analysis to determine if searchable PDF’s should be mandated, cost to mandate this requirement, storage issues and a date certain.

Technical Standards Subcommittee Overview

  • Developing standards for data exchange.
  • Developing security measures for electronic transmission of court Orders. The subcommittee is adopting language from the SOW between the FCCC and FCCC Service Group as well as reviewing current batch filing methods and standards for the batch filing of SAO and PD filings and the current portal integration kit.
  • Working with the FCCC’s Technology Workgroup on developing case maintenance standards.
  • Updates the Standards for Electronic Access to the Courts.

Access Governance Board

  • The Access Governance Board was established to develop an access security matrix , develop a reference guide for high level overview of the access and associated policies and develop a web catalog of the security matrix for application developers. The purpose was to facilitate a uniform statewide approach to providing carefully managed, secure access to electronic court records.
  • Members: Judge Robert Hilliard (chair); Jannet Lewis; Barbara Dawicke; David Ellspermann; Melvin Cox; Jeff Taylor; Angel Colonneso; Chuck Stiles and Sharon Bock

Access Governance Board Overview

  • Developed the Standards for Access to Electronic Court Records which establishes technical and operational requirements for electronic access to court records by the public, special user groups, judges, and court and clerk’s office personnel.
  • Developed the Access Security Matrix which defines levels of access for specific user groups based upon applicable court rules, statutes and administrative policies, and graphically displays the level of access permitted to specific user groups.
  • Developed the On-line Electronic Records Access Application which is an application clerks or circuit courts would have to complete to apply for approval of their electronic record access system.

Reports Subcommittee

  • The Reports subcommittee was established to evaluate current templates for annual reporting from trial courts and develop a new method for collecting information from the circuits.
  • Members: Ken Nelson (chair); Jannet Lewis; Chris Hinnant; Craig McLean; Walt Smith and Mike Phelps

Reports Subcommittee Overview

  • Developed a survey completed by court technology officers and clerks in order to verify compliance with the Standards for Electronic Access to the Courts (which focused on new systems and/or substantial changes to existing systems).
      • Developed the Notification for System Modification application which clerks have to complete when they make major modifications to current systems, or implement new systems.
  • Plans on developing a database that maintains the technology data for all circuits.

Technology Standards

  • Standards for Electronic Access to the Courts
      • The Supreme Court set statewide standards for e-filing for clerks to use when implementing e-filing due to the Legislature’s request. These standards specify the required information the clerks need to perform their duties and that the judiciary needs for case management as stated in AOSC09-30.
  • Standards for Access to Electronic Court Records
      • Describes the types of electronic access, user groups, access levels, security requirements for the general public and special user groups, as well as requirements for maintaining the integrity of the court record, redaction, quality assurance, archiving, authentication, and user maintenance.

Technology Standards

  • Access Security Matrix
      • Defines the level of access for specific user groups based upon applicable court rules, statutes and administrative policies, and graphically displays the level of access permitted to specific user groups.
  • Court Application Processing System (CAPS)
      • CAPS is a computer application designed for in-court and in-chambers use by trial judges or their staff to access and use electronic case files and other data sources in the course of managing cases, scheduling and conducting hearings, adjudicating disputed issues, and recording and reporting judicial activity.

Technology Standards

  • Integration and Interoperability Document
      • Identifies hardware and software platforms, network infrastructure, and methods for data exchange. This document is mainly used by the court technology officers.

Applicable Rules

  • Rule 2.236 – Florida Courts Technology Commission (FCTC)
  • Rule 2.420 – Public Access to Judicial Branch Records
  • Rule 2.425 – Minimization of the Filing of Sensitive Information
  • Rule 2.515 – Signature and Certificates of Attorneys and Parties
  • Rule 2.516 – Service of Pleadings and Documents
  • Rule 2.520 – Documents
  • Rule 2.525 – Electronic Filing
  • Rule 3.030 – Service and Filing of Pleadings, Papers, and Documents

Rule 2.236

  • Establishes the Florida Courts Technology Commission as a standing Supreme Court commission.
  • The FCTC is responsible for overseeing, managing, and directing the development and use of technology within the judicial branch under the direction of the Court.
  • The FCTC is responsible for developing all technology policies and standards for the trial and appellate courts.
  • The FCTC is responsible for reviewing all applications for new court technology systems and modifications to existing systems to ensure compliance with standards adopted by the Court.
  • The FCTC has the authority to enforce the technology policies, standards, and requirements adopted by the Court and to terminate a program or system that is not in compliance.

Rule 2.420

  • Came about because of action that was started in the Court in AOSC04-4 In Re: Committee on Privacy and Court Records.
  • Deals with public access to judicial records.
  • Identifies twenty categories of court records determined to be confidential.

Rule 2.425

  • Deals with the minimization of filing sensitive information (e.g., social security numbers, bank account numbers, initials of a minor, year of birth of a person’s birth date, last four digits of a person’s driver’s license number, etc.).

Rule 2.515

  • Deals with attorney’s signatures.
  • Every pleading and other document of a party represented by an attorney shall be signed by at least one attorney of record.
  • Attorneys can electronically sign documents using “/s/”, “s/”, or “/s”.

Rule 2.516

  • Deals with service of pleadings and documents.
  • All documents required or permitted to be served on another party must be served by e-mail, unless the parties otherwise stipulate.
  • Service by e-mail is complete on the date it is sent.
  • All documents served by e-mail must be sent by an e-mail message containing a subject line beginning with the words “SERVICE OF COURT DOCUMENT” in all capital letters, followed by the case number of the proceeding in which the documents are being served.
  • Service can also be made by handing it to the attorney/party, leaving it at the attorney’s/party’s office with a person, leaving it in a conspicuous place, leaving it at the person’s residence with someone 15 or older, or sending it by fax to the attorney’s/party’s office.

Rule 2.520

  • Deals with documents being filed.
  • “Documents” means pleadings, motions, petitions, memoranda, briefs, notices, exhibits, declarations, affidavits, orders, judgments, decrees, writs, opinions, and other paper or writing submitted to a court.
  • Documents shall be filed on recycled paper measuring 8 ½ by 11 inches.
  • Exhibits or attachments filed with pleadings or papers may be filed in its original size.
  • A 3-inch by 3-inch space at the top right-hand corner on the first page and a 1-inch by 3-inch space at the top right-hand corner on each subsequent page shall be left blank and reserved for use by the clerk of court.

Rule 2.525

  • Deals with electronic filing (E-filing).
  • E-filing is submitting court records for a filing in a case through electronic systems and processes in compliance with Florida Rules of Judicial Administration, Rule 2.525, and all other applicable rules of procedure.
  • E-filing includes filing a court record with accompanying data elements necessary to either establish an index of records for new cases or associate the record with an existing case in the case management system.
  • E-filing became mandatory in the civil divisions on April 1, 2013 and will become mandatory in the criminal divisions on February 3, 2014.

Rule 3.030

  • Deals with service and filing of pleadings, papers and documents.
  • Every pleading subsequent to the initial indictment or information on which a defendant is to be tried, every order not entered in open court, every written notice, demand and similar document shall be served on each party in compliance with rule 2.516.
  • All documents that are “court records” as defined in Florida Rules of Judicial Administration must be filed with the clerk.
  • Any paper document that is a judgment and sentence or required by statute or rule to be sworn to or notarized shall be filed and deposited with the clerk immediately thereafter.