The municipal court in Shawnee, Kansas, on June 20 went digital with a content management service focused specifically on cases. The transition, according to sources, is meant to boost the efficiency of the court, improve quality of service and save money for the city and the court.
According to CivSource Shawnee is one of the first court in the state to go paperless, though more are expected to follow suit. Court demand, the publication reports, remains high and because of that many across the country are switching to content management services in order to cut down the growing backlog.
Paper-based systems can cause a lot of trouble besides growing backlog – which, by the way, takes up storage space that could be used much more efficiently. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers 7.5 percent of documents get lost – at a cost of around $220 to replace – and 3 percent get misfiled. It will run approximately $120 in labor costs to find the paper.
Stephen E. Powell, a city clerk, said that with the implementation of the document storage solution the court will save significantly in staff time which will result in improved, more reliable service. The system will allow for live collaboration between a variety of stakeholders in the court system including judges, attorneys, public defenders and other parties.
According to the American Bar Association more and more courts are beginning to require e-filing of lawyers. Dirk Jordan writes that since going paperless he hasn't had to deal with any clutter and uses less than a ream of paper per year. And paper isn't even the most expensive thing that going digital eliminates from the budget. Printer ink, which is more expensive than champagne or Chanel perfume, according to Consumer Reports, won't be draining the courts' finances anymore.
Shawnee, Kansas anticipates a bright future as cost-savings increase, the backlog decreases and residents begin working with a more efficient court-system.
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