By Mary L. DePrez | Director and Counsel for Trial Court Technology, Office of Judicial Administration
Court records and documents online
Today, we can do everything online from paying bills to accessing our medical records and scheduling our next appointment with our doctor. We can even buy a car online and have it delivered to our door!
Courts and clerks make every effort to keep up with the times. Since 2007, court records have been available online at mycase.in.gov. Today, court documents are now available on that same website. There have been approximately 60,000 visits per day and over 6 million court documents downloaded since May of 2017 when documents became available. We can pay a traffic ticket or apply for a marriage license online. And now, Trial Court Technology staff is working with circuit court clerks to make Judgment Docket information available on the Internet.
Requirement to maintain a Judgment Docket
The requirement to maintain a Judgment Docket can be traced back to 1843. Under the record keeping duties prescribed by statute, every circuit court clerk is required to maintain a ‘book’ with information on every judgment entered by a trial court in that county.
Accompanying the book is an alphabetical ‘index’ of the judgments in the book. Many clerks maintain this book and index in an electronic format. This is allowed by current statute. Unfortunately, the only way to access this information was to make a trip to one or more courthouses in Indiana’s 92 counties. Until now.
Trial Court Technology has developed a website to make the electronic Judgment Book Index generated by the Odyssey case management system available online to the public.
Judgment information is critical to financial institutions, title companies and other business entities. The ability to access this information online 24/7 is another feature that clerks are offering to the public, a service that should save many trips to the courthouse.
How it works
An Index is created weekly from data entered in Odyssey. At the end of each quarter, the weekly Indexes are consolidated into a quarterly Index. At the end of the last quarter of the year, an annual Index is generated. Each Index is searchable. This functionality is critical due to the fact that some case captions entered in Odyssey may be lengthy and a person’s name may not be found easily, e.g., In Re The Estate of John Doe.
Since the Index is in alphabetical order, a searcher could not find ‘Doe’ without the ability to do a word search. Because the Index is a PDF, the user can search for ‘Doe’ and find any case that contains ‘Doe’ within the case caption. Once the case is identified, the searcher can find the entire Chronological Case Summary (court docket) on mycase.in.gov and can review all court activities including any outstanding financial balances.
Where to find it
The new Judgment Book Index search can be found at public.courts.in.gov, the website where information on many court initiatives is made available as a public service.
For additional information on Trial Court Technology please contact Mary DePrez at 317-234-2604 or email@example.com.