By David Kuhnz, Staff Attorney | Office of Communication, Education & Outreach
Courts around the state rely heavily on technology to move cases forward, especially with the challenges brought on by the pandemic. The Indiana Supreme Court’s Office of Court Technology continually seeks solutions to improve both public access and court operations. One such opportunity for courts became available in December 2020, when the Office of Court Technology released a new tool for trial courts to display their daily calendars for the public.
This new website integrates with the trial court remote video hearings website; however, both services can be implemented separately. Litigants, attorneys, press, and the public can use the calendar system by running simple searches to view public trial court schedules for dates up to seven days in the past and four weeks in the future. The search results link to case details on mycase.in.gov. The calendar only displays hearings that are from public cases and does not include any confidential information.
The combination of Indiana Administrative Rule 9(E)(2), which requires courts to make available their daily calendar or docket, and the Supreme Court’s order allowing for live streaming of proceedings created a more urgent need for the technology.
Janelle O’Malley, an attorney who works as an Implementation Specialist with the Office of Court Technology, led the effort and hopes more courts use the tool. “There are two overarching goals in creating the trial court calendar service. First, we want to help improve the public’s overall access to court information, and second, we want to help courts transition to virtual hearings. The need for the daily court calendars to be posted online became more evident and a higher priority once courts began live streaming their hearings. Viewers needed to know what they were watching.”
Since the release, the Office has consistently received positive feedback from judges, and the number of courts that have chosen to display their calendars online has been steadily increasing. At the end of 2020, there were over 100 trial courts in 35 counties—at all levels including city and town courts—that opted in and were participating with the new service. See the full list of participating courts. Each court can voluntarily opt in with an option to also have the service posted on their county’s website. If you have any questions, or if your court would like to participate, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Courts must be in a county that already uses Odyssey.