County courts hopping on paperless bandwagon

August 29th, 2013 | Posted by Kevin Corley in Document Management

Since the circuit clerk's office in Pike County, Miss., went paperless approximately seven years ago, the circuit clerk of neighboring Lincoln County had been chomping at the bit to follow a similar path, The Daily Leader reports.

Specifically, Dustin Bairfield was impressed by the prospect of how much physical office space could be freed up by reducing dependency on filing cabinets and paper-based records, especially considering the enormous amount of paper that can be generated by a single criminal or civil case. According to the news source, as many as 4,000 sheets of paper may be amassed over the course of just one case – a sobering figure in light of the fact that the clerk's office handles nearly 900 cases per year. 

Due to certain restrictions, the office will never be able to go completely paperless – for instance, "minute books" used by clerks to record summaries of judicial orders still need to be kept the old-fashioned way – but Bairfield is serious about deploying document imaging wherever he can.

"We are shooting for the end of September to be as close to paperless as legally allowed," he told the media outlet.

Over the past seven months, the office has made significant strides toward business process automation by scanning more than 1,500 documents dating back nearly three decades, the source reports.

Missouri's Jasper County is readying itself for a similar document management project in light of a statewide requirement for all courts to go paperless, according to KODE-TV. The county will dedicate approximately $5,000 from its supply budget toward purchasing computer monitors that will help facilitate the switch.

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