Software streamlines Hobart court’s work

HOBART | Improved technology within Hobart City Court helped a record number of cases move more smoothly through the system in 2006.

Hobart City Judge William Longer said there were more than 6,000 cases assigned in 2006, up from about 4,600 in 2005 and 3,400 in 2004.

The number was up, in part, due to increased numbers of traffic tickets written by police officers working federal grants and more traffic along the U.S. 30 retail corridor.

But Longer said moving to the Court View software program helped streamline the court's process and eliminate a lot of repetitive paperwork.

The Court View program also is linked to the Lake County system, and defendants and attorneys can log onto the county's Web site and check the status of a case online.

The program keeps track of court dates, active warrants and fees, among other features.

“It's a whole range of access we didn't have before,” Longer said. City Court began using the program last spring, and since then, nine of the 10 city or town courts in Lake County have either started to use the program or committed to start, he said.

Longer can access the site and another county software program, called the Spillman system, from a laptop on the bench and instantly have access to prison records, Bureau of Motor Vehicle records and outstanding warrants.

The programs have eliminated a great deal of staff labor and duplication, freeing court staff up to work on other projects.

“Technology has allowed us to absorb a great deal of work,” he said. “We can access information about people in court more quickly, instead of pulling files and making phone calls.”

Court clerk Holly Graham-Salomon agreed.

“It's phenomenal when it comes to multitasking,” she said. “Before, we were doing a lot more by hand, and it was tedious.”