The Maryland Electronic Courts (MDEC) project will create a single Judiciary-wide integrated case management system that will be used by all the courts in the state court system. Courts will collect, store and process records electronically, and will be able to instantly access complete records as cases travel from District Court to Circuit Court and on to the appellate courts. The new system will ultimately become “paper-on-demand,” that is, paper records will be available when specifically requested.
Caseflow management is the process by which courts move a case from the initial filing to its final end. This includes all pre-trial actions, trials, and events that may follow its disposition, including monitoring, probation or restitution.
Effective caseflow management ensures justice is possible --- not only in individual cases, but also across judicial systems and courts, both trial and appellate. As part of the Maryland Judiciary’s efforts to provide access to justice for all who utilize the court system, effective caseflow creates processes and manages courts’ increasing workflow to help ensure that every litigant receives procedural due process and equal protection.
The quality of justice is enhanced when judicial administration is organized around the requirements of effective caseflow and trial management.
The Maryland Judiciary is working with its justice partners, members of the bar and advocacy groups to update its entire court management systems, including integrating new technology, business processes and management practices. The project will result in the creation of a single Judiciary-wide integrated case management system that will be used by all levels of courts within the Judiciary.
The Judiciary has established an Advisory Committee, chaired by General District Court Chief Judge Ben Clyburn, to steer the activities surrounding the assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation of the new integrated system. This committee has developed four strategic goals that will serve as the guiding principles in the project:
- Improved public safety.
- Improved access to justice.
- Fair and efficient administration of justice.
- Use of reliable technological solutions.
The final implementation of this new system will be a full service court management process with the following components:
- Ability to send documents to and obtain information from the court from anywhere at any time – ensuring 24-hour access.
- The convenience of e-filing for litigants, allowing electronic document filings and exchange as digital files replace paper files.
- Increased efficiency in the areas of case initiation and indexing, docketing and recordkeeping, document generation and processing, in court docketing, disposition, monitoring compliance and case closing.
- An alternative dispute resolution (ADR) component to better monitor issues resolution efforts occurring outside of the court.
- A bondsman tracking component for tracking bonds posted by bondsmen statewide.
- A scheduling component for setting, maintaining and displaying information of court scheduled events, and for calendar maintenance.
- Enhanced ability to create, display, track and archive electronic court case records.
- Improved features to allow for information exchanges with the Judiciary’s justice partners.
These components will work together to create a new and improved vision of the Maryland Judiciary’s court management systems and ensure the fair and prompt administration of justice.