Akron Municipal Court Receives Grant Funding From Supreme Court of Ohio
The Akron Municipal Court was recently awarded a $195,000 grant from the Supreme Court of Ohio’s Technology Grant Fund. The Court will use the dollars to install a new integrated case management system (CMS).
These grant dollars will cover the initial cost associated with data conversion and CMS deployment for the system. Fifty-four projects benefitting Ohio-based courts received more than $3.2 million in this year’s Technology Grant Funding. This is the Technology Grant Fund’s sixth year of disbursements.
“We cannot underestimate the positive impact these grant dollars will have on our community due to the Supreme Court of Ohio’s generosity in awarding our Court these crucial grant dollars,” Administrative/Presiding Judge Nicole Walker said. “Although the Akron Municipal Court is known for the innovative programming opportunities we offer our community, we have fallen behind in the area of technology and we are operating on a legacy case management system from 1987. A new case management system will improve operational efficiencies and increase equal access to justice as the software will allow us to conduct business much more efficiently and allow us to collaborate with justice partners by sharing data.”
The software will manage the Akron Municipal Court’s total caseload of approximately 44,000 cases annually, and digitize cases dating as far back as 1976. The CMS’ capabilities include providing parties with reminders regarding court dates and due dates for fines and costs, along with the ability to make partial payments online, track cases, generate appellate records and accept electronic tickets from law enforcement.
“Lack of up-to-date technology can hinder the effective administration of justice,” Supreme Court of Ohio Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor said. “This year, the needs of some courts are basic while others leap into information technology, communications upgrades, and case management efficiency.”
“Simply put, courts today are forced to do more and more, and technology can answer those challenges,” the chief justice said. “Also, tech upgrades can save money in the long run and that’s helpful because financial challenges are inherent in operating a court.”
The projects selected for funding were scored by a 27-member panel of judges, court administrators, clerks, information technology professionals, security experts, and other personnel from local courts across the state.
The new integrated CMS will take approximately 18 months to fully implement and is expected to be completed in 2021.