Records/Document Management

Resource Guide

Records and document management are at the core of most courts’ business processes. The two elements are directly related; document management focus on how the courts obtain/acquire documents while records management focuses on care and storage after acquisition. With respect to document management, many state courts have implemented electronic court records (ECR) and electronic data management systems (EDMS) in an effort to improve court operations and manage unruly paperwork. With respect to records management, quality retention and use is critical to the fair and efficient adjudication of cases and the enforcement of legal remedies that courts are required to perform.

Links to related online resources are listed below. Non-digitized publications may be borrowed from the NCSC Library; call numbers are provided.


Featured Links

Technology.

NCSC Area of Expertise.

Technology Tools.

NCSC Area of Expertise.

Dimas, Jose. A Focus on Identity Theft, Social Security Numbers, and the Courts. (2006). Future Trends in State Courts.

This article examines the interest by federal policymakers to tackle the problem of identity theft by restricting the display of Social Security numbers in public documents. Social Security numbers are replete in court records such as probate files, land records, divorce documents,and other family-related court documents. This article will discuss the problem as well as the state court perspective on this issue and offer examples of what some state court systems are experimenting with to reduce the incidences of identity theft.

Larson, Susan Jennen. Court Record Access Policies: Under Pressure from State Security Breach Laws?. (2006). Future Trends in State Courts.

Courts are affected by national trends in privacy legislation. Over the past ten years, many courts have reevaluated and modified public access record policies to increase protections on personal information in court records, especially as court records are made available via the Internet. As private-sector data is more heavily regulated, and as state legislatures enact state security breach laws to protect consumer privacy and ward off identity theft, court record access policies may be under continued pressure to conform.

Zelner, Tisha. Digitization of Library Collections: The Future Is Now. (2005). Future Trends in State Courts.

As the trend toward online delivery of information continues, expect the libraries serving courts to digitize rare and scarce materials in their collections into forms that may be delivered to users 24/7 via intranets and the Internet.

Implementing Effective E-Processing for Traffic. Presentation from the Twenty-fifth Anniversary of the National Court Technology Conference that addresses the challenges in effectively processing traffic citations.
Product Development Focus on Paper-On-Demand. Presentation from the Twenty-fifth Anniversary of the National Court Technology Conference that examines Paper-on-Demand.
Streamlining Case Management and eFiling with Smart Electronic Forms, Documents and Processes. (2012). Presentation from the Twenty-fifth Anniversary of the National Court Technology Conference of an electronic court form with interactive fields.
Paper on Demand 2.0.

Presentation from the Twenty-fifth Anniversary of the National Court Technology Conference that showcases the Superior Court of California, Orange County.

Paper-on-Demand: A Roadmap to the Digital Courthouse.

Presentation from the Twenty-fifth Anniversary of the National Court Technology Conference that identifies the benefits/costs associated with migrating to a paper-on-demand environment.

Imaging/Optical Storage Vendors. Imaging/Optical Storage Vendors from the Court Technology Vendor List.
CourTools.

Trial Court Performance Measures:  Number 6. Reliability and Integrity of Case Files.

Electronic Court Records

McMillan, James E. Electronic Documents: Benefits and Potential Pitfalls. (2010). Future Trends in State Courts.

The cost-effectiveness and operational advantages of accepting and storing electronically filed documents can have an impressive impact on a court's bottom line. While the court community is working diligently to take advantage of the many benefits of converting to electronic documents, there are still many issues to be resolved.

King County Wash. Electronic Court Records Honored. (September 2007). Government Technology Magazine King County’s Electronic Court Records (ECR) Program was announced as a 2007 Innovations in American Government Award winner. The ECR Program of King County was one of seven $100,000 award winners. 
Administrative Order No. 2007- 62. (August 2007). Supreme Court, State of Arizona

For purposes of a pilot project, all electronically transmitted images of the justice-court record shall be considered the original documents of record in the superior court in Yavapai County.

Digital Imaging Guidebook . (August 2007). Supreme Court of Ohio Advisory Committee on Technology and the Courts

"Digital imaging of documents will: Provide each court with electronic records of case-related documents, Will be easily transportable to other members of your court, and, Will be readily available to appropriate individuals throughout Ohio’s judicial system."  Chief Justice Thomas Moyer.

McMillan, James E. How Digital Rights Management (DRM) Technology Will Change the Way Courts Work. (2005). Future Trends in State Courts.

New technology will allow courts to better serve the public by protecting digital information. Court technical staff needs to begin working with policy makers to test and then implement this new technology and modify both court and legal processes to take advantage of these new capabilities.

PDF/A. (October 2005). ISO Standard 19005 - 1:2005.: Wikipedia This standard defines a format (PDF/A) for the long-term archiving of electronic documents and is based on the PDF Reference Version 1.4 from Adobe Systems Inc. (implemented in Adobe Acrobat 5).
Electronic Records Management Handbook. (February 2002). Records Management Program, State of California The purpose of this Electronic Records Management Handbook is to provide guidance for managing electronic records and electronic recordskeeping systems for California State government to meet current and emerging record management responsibilities and the many challenges of e-government.
The Sedona Principles:. (2004). Silver Spring, MD: Pike & Fischer. The Sedona Conference

Best Practices, Recommendations and Principles for Addressing Electronic Document Production. Guideline No. 1: An organization should have reasonable policies and procedures for managing its information and records.

Winters, Roger. Time for Electronic Court Records. (2004).

This article discusses the experience of the King County (Seattle), Washington, Superior Court with electronic court records, revisiting lessons learned and making the case that the time for maintaining paper documents is past.

Electronic Records Archives (ERA). The National Archives ERA will be a comprehensive, systematic, and dynamic means for preserving virtually any kind of electronic record, free from dependence on any specific hardware or software.
Scanning Resolution, Scaling. File Size. About.com: Desktop Publishing

Get a great scan by understanding scanning resolution, bit depth, file formats and sizes, and scaling options. Use the right scanning resolution to match the intended use for scanning images and text.

State Laws on Optical Imaging. Archive Index Systems, Inc. A list of state laws as they relate to optical storage.

File Tracking with RFID

State Statutes Relating to Radio Frequency Identification and Privacy. (June 2009). National Conference of State Legislatures

The use of RFID has raised privacy concerns in some states, particularly with regard to the potential linking of personal information with RFID tags.  

RFID Court Case Study . (2008). St Charles County, Missouri RFID allows court to do audits and locate critical files without touching the files at all. And, RFID sensors in the ceiling has eliminated searching Judges' chambers for files. See also, the Williamson County Court, Texas, Case Study(Note: NCSC is a vendor neutral organization.  These case studies are presented as examples of how RFID technology can be applied in the court environment.)
Case File Radio Frequency Indentification Case Files . Office of the State Attorney, Fifteenth Judicial District, West Palm Beach, Florida RFID is used to track the physical location of a case file that has an imbedded RFID tag. It appears on the person's workstation as a Web application showing the file location on a building floor plan.
Swedberg, Claire. Maryland Court Tries UHF RFID File-Tracking System. (August 2006). RFID Journal The 7th Judicial Circuit Court for Prince George's County plans to use EPC Gen 2 tags to track legal documents for 30,000 to 40,000 cases a year.
Lengerich, Fred. Radio Frequency Indentifiation (RFID). (2003). Emergency Technology White Paper, IJIS Institute A basic RFID system consists of an electronic tag (the chip), a reader on the same radio frequency as the tag, and a computer with software to control the reader and manage the data received from the tag. and a computer with software to control the reader and manage the data received from the tag.

E Citation Systems

Warta, Tamara Electronic Citations Help Law Enforcement Reduce Traffic Ticket Errors. (February 2008). Government Technology Magazine San Jose is the first California city to use this system, and more cities within Santa Clara County are being encouraged to adopt the updated technology so police departments can become interlinked.
Garland Municipal Court Goes Paperless. (June 2007). Garland, Texas As staff now processes citations from initial input to final disposition entirely online, the  Garland Municipal Court’s implementation has become one of the few truly paperless courts in the United States. The system was recognized at the Tenth National Court Technology Conference in October 2007 ("Paperless Court System in Garland, TX Receives National Recognition").
SPIRIT: A Paperless Traffic Court. Clerk of Courts - Miami Dade County, Florida The SPIRIT Project (Simultaneous Paperless Image Retrieval Information Technology) is a highly innovative venture intended to launch the clerk's office into the 21st century. 
Electronic Citation and Warning System (eCWS) . Indiana Supreme Court - Judicial Technology & Automation Committee (JTAC) Indiana law enforcement officers statewide have the ability to produce tickets electronically at the time of a traffic stop. Data can be transmitted electronically to appropriate law enforcement, courts, and state and federal agencies.  See "JTAC receives Special Achievement Award".

Records Management

Webster, Lawrence and James McMillan. Feasibility Review of the Electronic Document Management System for the Iowa Judicial Branch. (November 2005). NCSC for the Iowa Judicial Branch.

NCSC conducted a review of a feasibility study done for the Iowa Judicial Branch by Digital Data Resources, Inc. in 1999. The subject of the feasibility study was an Electronic Document Management System (EDMS), a new application intended to create a nearly paperless environment for the Iowa courts.

Kirven, Mary Beth and Daniel Hall. Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information. (June 2003).

White paper on Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996.

Dibble, Thomas. A Guide to Records Management. (1986). 103 pages.

The original purpose of this report was to assist court managers in viewing and planning records management programs in the context of the overall court environment. It became a classic in its field.

Digital Imaging

Administrative Order No. 2007- 62. (August 2007). Supreme Court, State of Arizona For purposes of a pilot project, all electronically transmitted images of the justice-court record shall be considered the original documents of record in the superior court in Yavapai County.
Digital Imaging Guidebook . (August 2007). Supreme Court of Ohio Advisory Committee on Technology and the Courts "Digital imaging of documents will: Provide each court with electronic records of case-related documents, Will be easily transportable to other members of your court, and, Will be readily available to appropriate individuals throughout Ohio’s judicial system."  Chief Justice. Thomas Moyer. 
National Association of Government Archives and Records Administrators .

This site contains various resources on planning and implementing a digital imaging project, as well as digital imaging standards from several states. National Association of Government Archives and Records Administrators (NAGARA)

State Laws on Optical Imaging. Archive Index Systems, Inc. A list of state laws as they relate to optical storage.

Electronic Records Management

Espinosa, Hon. Philip G. A Word from the Future: The Virtually Paperless Court of Appeals. (2009). Future Trends in State Courts.

This article discusses how the future of court technology has arrived at Division Two of the Arizona Court of Appeals. It is an integrated digital environment that approaches a true paperless court, resulting in greatly increased efficiency and significant cost savings benefiting all court personnel, the Arizona legal community, and ultimately the public.

Minnesota State Archive Electronic Records Management Guidelines.

(2006)

Gibson, Robin. Information Sharing and eXtensible Markup Language. (2006). Future Trends in State Courts.

Every day courts strive to find better, faster, cheaper, and more efficient solutions to share information. Different technologies have been tried, but the most promising technology today is eXtensible Markup Language - XML. It has sufficient implementations and standardized functionality to be a truly viable solution for courts and will expand rapidly in the future.

Byers, Fred. Care and Handling of CDs and DVDs. (October 2003). Council on Library and Information Resources, National Institute of Standards and Technology.

This document describes methods for the care and handling of optical discs and is intended for use by librarians and archivists in government, academia, and industry. It provides guidance on how to maximize the life-time and usefulness of optical discs, specifically CD and DVD media, by minimizing chances of information loss caused by environmental influences or physical handling.

Electronic Records Management Handbook. (February 2002). Records Management Program, State of California The purpose of this Electronic Records Management Handbook is to provide guidance for managing electronic records and electronic recordskeeping systems for California State government to meet current and emerging record management responsibilities and the many challenges of e-government.

Organizations

ARMA International.

A non-profit professional association and the authority on managing records and information – paper and electronic. ARMA International publishes Information Management (IM) magazine, a journal specifically for professionals who manage records and information on a daily basis. The IM journal is published bi-monthly and features articles on records and information management, as well as marketplace news and analysis. The association also develops and publishes standards and guidelines related to records management.

Association for Information and Image Management (AIIM).

AIIM is a non-profit organization focused on helping users to understand the challenges associated with managing documents, content, records, and business processes. AIIM was founded in 1943 as the National Microfilm Association and later became the Association for Information and Image Management. The organization offers a number white papers, webinars, publications and free information, as well as training and certification in records management topics. AIIM is also known as the enterprise content management association.

International Records Management Trust.

The International Records Management Trust was established in 1989 to develop new strategies for managing records and information. This nonprofit organization is headquartered in London and has a variety of resources available for download from its website.

National Association of Government Archives and Records Administrators.

The National Association of Government Archives and Records Administrators (NAGARA) is an association dedicated to the improvement of federal, state, and local government records and information management. This site provides access to a wide variety of records management documents and information developed by government agencies.

Records Retention and Destruction

Arizona Rule on Records Retention and Disposition.

Arizona Rule of Judicial Administration Section 4-302 specifies the length of time a court record must be maintained for each case type.

Fischer, Laurie Conditional Critical: Developing Records Retention Schedules.. (January 2006). The Information Management Journal.
AIIM Membership Tool. Introduction to Records Retention – Users Guide.

A general guide to the principles and processes of records retentions for organizations.

Risk Management and Disaster Recovery

Emergency Preparedness/Disaster Recovery. (2012). National Center for State Courts

Resources that court administrators can use to protect the essential courthouse job functions from potential disasters. See section on Preserving Records Libraries.

How to Create a Vital Records Protection Plan. (June 2003). New York State Unified Court System The purpose of a Vital Records Protection Plan is to identify and protect those essential records that are needed by a court system in order to continue normal operations before, during, and after emergencies. By realizing the importance of these records for continuing your court’s or office functions and arranging for the protection of these records, you will be able to save valuable time and resources after a disaster or emergency. This will enable you to concentrate on restoring operations rather than spending time and money trying to restore information necessary to continue operations.
Disaster Recovery Planning for Courts: A Guide to Business Continuity Planning. (2000). Williamsburg, Va.: National Association for Court Management A compendium designed to help judges, court managers, and staff step through the planning process to prepare their courts to keep business operations up and running, even in a disaster. Included are actual disaster case studies from jurisdictions across the country.
Fox, Lisa L. Disaster Preparedness Workbook for U.S. Navy Libraries and Archives. (November 1998). "This workbook focuses on the disaster related needs of librarians, archivists, and records managers in documentary collections--that is, in collections of printed documents, magnetic media, electronic records, and so on" and "provides basic information and instructions as well as a template that personnel can use to write their own plans."--Preface. It contains a large appendix with sample forms that can be modified for use by your court or law library.
Lowell, Howard P. Protecting Court Records: Disaster Preparedness for Court Managers. (1993). Court Manager 8, No. 1

The first paragraph outlines three reasons for court managers to plan for disasters. "Disasters happen.  Destruction of records and loss of vital information often result from these disasters. Court managers, as custodians of important records that bear on the successful and impartial administration of justice, have a responsibility to safeguard these records from such loss or destruction."  This article discusses the ways a court manager can prepare for disaster and mitigate the damage to records.

Conservation Online: Resources for Conservation Professionals. Stanford University Libraries CoOL, a project of the Preservation Department of Stanford University Libraries, is a full-text library of conservation information, covering a wide spectrum of topics of interest to those involved with the conservation of library, archives and museum materials. Includes a list of commercial services, suppliers, etc.
Disaster Response and Recovery. The National Archives The National Archives preservation and archive professionals provide some tips for disaster response and recovery as it relates to vital records and documents.  They suggest that a "pro-active rather than re-active approach to disaster preparation is the best means of mitigating damage from natural disasters or other forms of destruction. However, despite systematic planning efforts, when emergencies do occur — whether they are small scale or catastrophic — they can be overwhelming."  This Web site provides information and guidance on recovering various types of record materials.

Standards

The Sedona Principles:. (2004). Silver Spring, MD: Pike & Fischer. The Sedona Conference Best Practices, Recommendations and Principles for Addressing Electronic Document Production.  Guideline No. 1: An organization should have reasonable policies and procedures for managing its information and records.
PDF/A. (October 2005). ISO Standard 19005 - 1:2005.: Wikipedia This standard defines a format (PDF/A) for the long-term archiving of electronic documents and is based on the PDF Reference Version 1.4 from Adobe Systems Inc. (implemented in Adobe Acrobat 5).
International Standard ISO 15489-1.

International standards for best practices in records management.