PORTLAND, Maine — The Maine court system took a step toward the implementation of an electronic case filing network on Tuesday when a contract with Tyler Technologies was signed.
The cost of the system will be $17 million over 10 years.
It is to be implemented in stages with the first judicial region expected to be operational in 2019, with statewide implementation to be completed in 2021.
Information about the order in which the eight judicial regions, which coincide with the state’s prosecutorial districts, would be implemented was not released.
Leigh I. Saufley, chief justice of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, announced in a press release that the contract had been signed.
Maine is the last state in the nation that still relies entirely on paper documentation , according to Saufley.
Tyler plans to double its current Maine workforce of 584 employees to 1,100 in the next few years, she said in the release.
“This contract signing culminates an extensive competitive bid process and lengthy negotiations with Tyler Technologies,” the chief justice said. “For two hundred years, the judicial branch has been a paper-based court system. All case filings, other court documents and orders have been on paper.
“Utilizing Tyler’s Odyssey® software, court users will be able to initiate cases and file motions remotely from anywhere in the world, 24-hours a day, every day of the week,” Saufley said. “Litigants will be able to access their case files without having to travel to a courthouse. Multiple users will be able to simultaneously view a court file.”
Saufley has estimated that about 80 percent of the people who appear in court represent themselves.
The new system, which will be similar to the federal court’s electronic case filing system, will include the scheduling of court events, and the tracking of bail, warrants, and protection orders.
Eventually, the transition to a paperless system will save thousands of square feet of courthouse space currently used for paper file storage, the chief justice said. The system also will include advanced security measures to protect the integrity of court files and personal data.
The same system that will be implemented in Maine is in use in Indiana, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota and Oregon, the release said.
This article appears through a media partnership with Bangor Daily News.