December 2015: Maryland Electronic Courts (MDEC) is Expanding to the Eastern Shore
Plans are underway to expand e-filing to all counties on the Eastern Shore in 2016. E-filing will be mandatory for all attorneys who file cases in the District and Circuit courts in Caroline, Cecil, Kent, Queen Anne’s and Talbot counties, as well as appellate filings that commence in those counties. In order to utilize e-filing and other new system features, attorneys will need basic training on how to access the system and how to file their documents electronically.
MDEC launched in Anne Arundel County on October 14. That date marked the beginning of mandatory e-filing for attorneys filing in Anne Arundel County (non-criminal pleadings). This includes the District and Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County as well as any appellate proceedings arising from an Anne Arundel County case on or after October 14, 2014. The courts accepted paper filings during the first four weeks of the rollout in Anne Arundel County. However, after close of business on November 14, attorneys must file electronically or their filings will not be accepted.
As this transition period comes to a close, we asked Anne Arundel County judges and leaders active with the implementation of MDEC to reflect on the launch and how they are working to make the case management system better for the rollout of MDEC in the next jurisdiction. We also asked local attorneys now using the case management and e-filing system how it is working on their end.
The responses in this Q&A are from: Anne Arundel County Circuit Court Administrative Judge Paul A. Hackner; Robert Duckworth, Clerk of the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County; Anne Arundel County Circuit Court Administrator Doug Hofstedt; Anne Arundel County District Court Administrative Clerk Tamera Chester; Joan Nairn, MDEC Project Manager; Carla Jones, Manager of Court Operations; and attorneys Susan Stobbart Shapiro, a director of Council, Baradel, Kosmerl & Nolan, P.A., and Jonathan P. Kagan, a partner with Baldwin, Kagan & Gormley, LLC.
It has been more than a week since MDEC launched in Anne Arundel County on Tuesday, October 14. Since then, many Judiciary employees and court employees have been working and making adjustments to Odyssey, the new case management system, to ensure the implementation continues to run smoothly in each Anne Arundel County court.
“With any pilot launch we always anticipate some glitches,” said Rick Parker, Enterprise Architect in Judicial Information Systems (JIS). “The good news is that we do not have to do any interoperability design changes, and this is thanks in large part to the intense preparation leading up to the rollout.” This means the response team can address flow of data and other issues that were anticipated.
The fixes within Odyssey included changing the instructions for uploading e-filing attachments. During the initial pilot stage, attorneys were able to upload one attachment into the system for e-filings. However, it was realized that the system will not generate multiple notices. Therefore, an attorney e-filing in a court in Anne Arundel County must now file complaints and motions separately.
As the pilot rolls out the next phases of implementation, the MDEC team will continue to make the changes needed for a successful statewide system.
This Tuesday marks the launch of MDEC in Anne Arundel County: District Court, Circuit Court, Court of Special Appeals and Court of Appeals. This will be an exciting day. For the first time, attorneys will be able to file electronically and follow their civil cases through the system at all four levels of Maryland’s courts -- making Maryland the first state to use the case management system in the appellate courts.In anticipation of go-live day, an email reminder was sent to all attorneys across Maryland. Attorneys practicing in Anne Arundel County must have their Client Protection Fund number and be registered to e-file. The courts will accept paper filings during the first four weeks of the rollout in Anne Arundel County. However, they must file electronically starting November 14 or their filings will be turned away.
The most recent instructions can be found on the e-filing information page.
The Anne Arundel County MDEC pilot launch countdown has begun. The roll-out of the pilot is just over a week away. In preparation for the launch date, an MDEC brochure is now available and can be distributed to the public. This brochure provides further information on MDEC and e-filing, how they work, and how to use the new case management system. Copies of the brochure will be available in each courthouse in Anne Arundel County and can be downloaded online.
Are you ready for Oct. 14? Brush up on your MDEC and e-filing knowledge by reading the new brochure. Also become familiar with the re-organized e-filing information page. Attorneys who may call your office for help can also be directed to these resources.
Download the brochure.Read the e-filing information page.
As part of the MDEC effort, Maryland’s courtrooms will be evolving to become “paperless.” The Maryland District Court for Glen Burnie has been testing a new audio-visual solution that will allow a courtroom to operate in a paperless environment. This video is an introduction to the audio-visual solution that documents the project as it is installed in the pilot courtroom.
In this 10-minute video we hear about the system from Ann Looker, project implementation manager for Judicial Information Systems (JIS), and we learn how the audio-visual solution is installed from Walter Hill, president of Maryland Sound and Image.
Watch the video here.
Once the rollout of the Anne Arundel County MDEC pilot goes live on Oct. 14, all attorneys will be required to e-file with the Odyssey File and Serve program, and electronic processing and management of court records will be used by the clerks and other judicial personnel. When additional counties are added, the MDEC system will apply to all new actions and proceedings, new filings in existing actions pending in those courts on the applicable date, and all appellate proceedings seeking a review of a judgment or order entered in any affected action.
Now is the time to become familiar with the requirements and procedure for e-filing regardless of your jurisdiction. Volume one of the MDEC Policies and Procedures Manual can now be found online for review by all attorneys and court personnel. The manual provides a detailed overview of the requirements, guidelines, and procedures for using MDEC and specifically e-filing. Procedures will continue to be updated in future volumes.
Monday, Sept. 15, marks the start of registration for mandatory e-filing in Anne Arundel County. It is also the day that attorneys can begin to sign up for e-filing webinars. The registration portal and information for e-filing and e-filing webinars can also be found here.
Getting Technical Questions from Attorneys? Help is Available Online
Last week attorneys were directed to create their attorney information for MDEC in order to be ready to register for e-filing. As they have been creating their attorney information for MDEC, some attorneys are asking for assistance with technical questions and browser compatibility issues.
A new online technical issues page has been set up to guide users through the process. The page includes step-by-step instructions to change compatibility view settings as well as instructions for other issues that may arise within the application.
You can direct all technical questions to the technical issues page.
Yesterday, Sept. 4, an email was sent to all Maryland attorneys statewide that included important information and deadlines for attorneys preparing for e-filing. The email advised attorneys to create their attorney information for MDEC by Sept. 26. This deadline is important to note for all attorneys filing in Anne Arundel County because e-filing will be mandatory in Anne Arundel County when MDEC launches on Oct. 14. The creation of their attorney information will allow the Judiciary to link their Client Protection Fund/Maryland attorney number with their District Court and Circuit Court numbers, thus allowing them to have remote access to cases that have been filed in jurisdictions where MDEC has launched.
You may be getting a number of questions from attorneys about this email. You can inform yourself and help answer questions by reading the email here.
You can also direct attorneys to email their questions to email@example.com.
The Anne Arundel County rollout of MDEC is scheduled for Oct. 14. This week, as Anne Arundel County continues to train and prepare for the implementation of e-filing, let’s take a look at how a new case management system has worked in another state.
This featured Nevada case study cites improvements in serving the citizens of Clark County, lessons learned through the implementation of the new Clark County customized version of the Odyssey case management system, and accounts from judges using the system.
Read the case study here.
Attorneys and law professionals across the state must get ready for the start of mandatory e-filing in Anne Arundel County. Starting this fall, any attorney who files a case in Anne Arundel County will be required to e-file. This includes attorneys from other jurisdictions who are filing in Anne Arundel County. Also important to note: Attorneys who e-file need to register to do so.
A new online tutorial is now available on the Judiciary’s website to help attorneys as they prepare for e-filing. The online tutorial has step-by-step instructions on how to register to e-file, how to find his/her attorney/Client Protection Fund number, and how to initiate a new case.Are you getting questions from attorneys and the public about e-filing?
The online tutorial may help you answer some of those questions. You can also direct people to the video at: www.mdcourts.gov/mdec/video/efilingtutorial.mp4
Whenever MDEC is mentioned, you also hear “Tyler Technologies.”
Did you know?
MDEC utilizes Tyler’s proven case management system solution, Odyssey, which is deployed in more than 500 counties in 20 states, serving more than 75 million residents.
Here is a little more information about the company that has created Odyssey, the case management system that MDEC relies on: www.mdcourts.gov/mdec/updates/20140808learningabouttylertechnologies.pdf
Monday, Aug. 4, marks the beginning of e-filing educational sessions lead by Tara Glover, MDEC e-filing project manager for the Judiciary. The first group to participate in the sessions is the Anne Arundel County Bar Association, which has invited the Judiciary to explain MDEC and e-filing for its members in August.
Handouts for the sessions have been created to help explain the benefits of e-filing and answer frequently asked questions.
Common questions include:
-How long after e-filing does electronic service take place?
-Will the courts still be able to reject filings?
-What is an EFSP?
-How will we safeguard and provide security measures for the system?
Find out the answers to these questions and more from the links below.
Read the FAQs here: http://mdcourts.gov/mdec/pdfs/mdecefilingattyfaqs.pdf
Learn more about e-filing from the new fact sheet here: http://mdcourts.gov/mdec/pdfs/efilingfactsheet.pdf
MDEC Walk-Through – Anne Arundel County District Court Weighs in
Walk-through sessions are helping clerks get hands-on experience with the MDEC system. This summer, clerks have been honing the skills they will use when MDEC launches in Anne Arundel County this fall.
In this video, Anne Arundel County District Court Civil Division Chief Sheryl Hines, Anne Arundel County District Court Civil Division Supervisor Shirley Anthony, and District Court Headquarters Operations Administrator Rose Day talk about getting ready for MDEC, why it’s important, and how they are coping with the changes a new system brings.
View the video here: www.mdcourts.gov/mdec/updates/20140725mdecwalkthroughhd.mp4
Read the transcript here: www.mdcourts.gov/mdec/updates/20140725mdecvideotranscript.pdf
MDEC Video: Anne Arundel County Circuit Court Walk-through Sessions
MDEC business process walk-through sessions have begun. These walk-through sessions allow clerks from Anne Arundel County Circuit and District courts to enter real cases into MDEC.
In the following video, we hear from Anne Arundel County Circuit Court Assistant Chief Deputy Clerk Lisa Preston, Anne Arundel County Circuit Court Trust Clerk Debbie Green and business analyst for JIS, Mahender Bhandari, as they explain why these walk-through sessions are critical for the upcoming implementation of the MDEC pilot launch.
View the video here: www.mdcourts.gov/mdec/updates/20140718mdecwalkthroughhd.mp4
Read the transcript here: www.mdcourts.gov/mdec/updates/20140718mdecvideotranscript.pdf
MDEC Milestones: E-filing Educational Sessions Happening Now
Attorneys and law professionals can now sign up for educational sessions to help them get ready for e-filing, the electronic filing of court cases, papers and documents. E-filing will be available in Anne Arundel County when the county becomes the first jurisdiction to launch MDEC.
“This is a great time for attorneys to become more familiar with MDEC and e-filing because, starting in mid-September, they will be able to register to e-file and thus be ready for Anne Arundel County’s launch of MDEC this fall,” said Tara Glover, MDEC e-filing project manager for the Judiciary. Tara is responsible for the scheduling of presentations to law firms and bar associations.
MDEC Article: MDEC Milestones: Walk-through Sessions Begin
The Maryland Electronic Courts (MDEC) initiative reached another significant milestone with the introduction of the MDEC system business process walk-through sessions.These new sessions mark the end of business process sprints and begin the hands on walk-through and validation activities. Learn more about the sessions.
(L to R) Karuna Biswas, Carolyn Fleary,
Marquita Spriggs, and Anoh Brou
MDEC Article: Testing the System
Before MDEC goes live in Anne Arundel County, testing of MDEC system components will be done by quality assurance teams at JIS in conjunction with end users. The teams will verify that all MDEC system components meet the functional and performance expectations of the Judiciary. Learn more about the testing.
MDEC Q&A: Greg Hilton, Clerk of the Court of Special Appeals
Like many of the people featured in prior weeks of MDEC News, Clerk of the Court of Special Appeals Greg Hilton has been involved with the MDEC project for years. Recently he sat down to answer some questions about how MDEC and the pilot implementation process will affect the Court of Special Appeals.Greg Hilton explains more here.
The Role for Retired Judges in MDEC
Judges recalled to the bench are uniquely positioned to take an active role in addressing some of the challenges courts will face as the Judiciary makes the transition from a paper to an electronic environment. Retired Judge Nancy B. Shuger explains more here.
New MDEC Video: Growing with MDEC
Anne Arundel County District Court Administrative Clerk Tami Chester has been deeply involved in the MDEC preparation and implementation process. In the following video, we hear from Tami Chester as she reflects on the changes MDEC will bring and how Anne Arundel County District Court is getting ready for these changes. Click on the image to watch the latest video. A transcript of the video is also available.
New MDEC Article: A Judge's Perspective: Judge Paul A. Hackner
Judge Hackner offers his unique perspective on the process. Click on the image to read the latest article.
New Video: Anne Arundel County Gets Ready to Launch Video (Teaser)
MDEC Video "Anne Arundel County Gets Ready to Launch Video (Teaser)" (mp4) 0:30
Judiciary employees and Maryland attorneys have been hearing about an integrated statewide case management system project for years. In the following podcast, we feature information from the MDEC Advisory Committee meeting on Monday April 14, and talk about the real history of the project, starting from the beginning, in 2009. Click on the image to listen to the following podcast.
- MDEC Podcast "An Historical Perspective" (mp4) duration 6:15
- Implementation Timeline (pdf)
- An Historical Perspective Podcast Transcript (pdf)
- An Historical Perspective Podcast Transcript (docx)
What is an MDEC sprint? Get a behind-the-scenes look as 20 MDEC pioneers from the front lines of Anne Arundel County District and Circuit Courts, District Court Headquarters and court-related agencies participated in an MDEC business process sprint, which focused on how cases transfer from the District Court to the Circuit Court using the new electronic case management system. Click on the image to watch the latest video.
MDEC will be rolled out county-by-county starting in the fall of 2014. It will take approximately five years to complete. See more frequently asked questions (FAQs).
Anne Arundel County is first in line and is getting ready for the pilot roll-out.
An interview with District Court Chief Judge Ben C. Clyburn about MDEC and Court Technologies
Chief Judge Ben C. Clyburn of the District Court of Maryland has been a leader in developing and preparing to launch Maryland Electronic Courts (MDEC). He has served as the chair of the MDEC Advisory Committee since it was created in 2009, and has been a dynamic advocate for the new system. He and Joan Nairn, MDEC Project Manager, have made more than 85 presentations to law enforcement agencies, bar associations, legislators, and other stakeholders to prepare them for MDEC and how it will change the way they interact with the courts. As he prepares to retire May 31, 2014, Chief Judge Clyburn shares his unique insights on MDEC and the future of the courts.
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Office of Communications and Public Affairs, 410-260-1488.