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The Scoop

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Steuben courts, clerk upgrade to Odyssey system

Statement issued Monday by the Indiana Supreme Court:

The Steuben County Courts and Clerk are successfully operating a new 21st-century computer system called “Odyssey.” Odyssey connects the county to a continually growing network of courts, clerks, law enforcement and other state agencies. There are currently 97 courts in 34 counties in the state using Odyssey.

The upgrade to Odyssey in Steuben County is part of the Indiana Supreme Court’s effort to equip every trial court with a 21st-century case management system. Odyssey connects courts with each other, law enforcement, state agencies and makes court information available over the Internet at no charge.

With Odyssey, an estimated 5,300 new cases filed in Steuben County each year will be managed by a state-of-the-art computer system.

Circuit Court Judge Allen N. Wheat said, “My staff and I feel very fortunate to have this new case management system at our disposal. Attorneys and the public have expressed their appreciation for being able to track the progress of cases from their offices or homes, rather than having to make a special trip to the courthouse. This will revolutionize how the judicial branch does business.”

Superior Court Judge William C. Fee pointed to the value of Odyssey, “We are a better, faster and far more accessible court system because of Odyssey. The positive impact is apparent in all aspects of court operations and benefits the legal community as well as those who have business with the courts.”

Steuben County Clerk Shelly Herbert is pleased with the transition to Odyssey. “The transition from our legacy system to Odyssey went extremely smooth. There are so many wonderful aspects of Odyssey that our legacy system did not provide. This is a major upgrade for the Steuben County courts and clerk and making this change benefits the community of Steuben County.”

Odyssey was first installed in ten Indiana courts on a pilot basis in December 2007 under the direction of the Indiana Supreme Court’s Division of State Court Administration’s Judicial Technology and Automation Committee (JTAC). Indiana Supreme Court Justice Frank Sullivan, Jr., who chairs JTAC, congratulated those involved in bringing Odyssey to Steuben County. “This is a major accomplishment and the people of Steuben County should be proud of the hard work done by Clerk Herbert and Judges

Wheat and Fee. Their staffs are to be congratulated as well. Having this advanced technology will mean better service for the county’s citizens, will increase public safety because of its connections to lawenforcement, and because JTAC pays for the computer software, using Odyssey will save money for the county’s taxpayers as well.”

Courts pay no installation costs, training costs, license fees or annual maintenance costs for Odyssey.

Those costs are paid by JTAC from the proceeds of a court filing fee dedicated to the project by the General Assembly. Odyssey is designed to be implemented statewide and is being installed without disrupting everyday court business or closing Indiana courts. Currently, there are 22 different and unrelated court record management systems statewide and these systems do not communicate with each other.

For more information on the Indiana Supreme Court’s technology projects visit courts.in.gov/jtac.

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