Tips to manage court operations in the time of COVID-19

Permalink


This page will provide helpful tips on PC JIMS features you might find useful as court react to COVID-19

Batch updating and notification of hearings

Per e-mail 3/17/2020

I took a peek at the Supreme Court's website this morning and noted that so far courts are deciding to stay open, but reschedule all non-urgent hearings.    I wanted to remind you that the Update Docketed Cases option provides clerks with a way to both update hearings in batch and print Notices of Appearance for that batch. 

I am attaching a document (available here) that has the complete instructions for this program.  I do, however want to note one thing about the Notice of Appearance option in the program.  At this time, that Notice of Appearance option will print the notice to the litigant's attorney, if a litigant has an attorney, on both civil or criminal cases.  This is consistent with Supreme Court Rule 11, which indicates that service should be made to the attorney if there is an attorney of record, but it might not be what you are needing at this exact moment, when you are rescheduling cases due to the COVID threat.  If your judge(s) have given you explicit instructions to notify the litigants AND their attorneys, that is not what you will get when you use Notice of Appearance option from Update Docketed Cases.

 

Now, even if you've been told to notify both the litigants and their attorneys, you might still be able to use this option when you are updating the hearings on minor traffic cases, because they wouldn't typically have an attorney anyway.  So you might find that you can use the Update Docketed Cases sometimes, but not other times.    I am working to get notification options, so it can be used differently each time, depending upon your need at that moment.   That won't help us right now, but it will make the program more flexible for future use.  In the meantime, if you can't use the notice from it, you won't want to use it to reschedule the cases either.  If you reschedule the cases using the Update Docketed Cases program, and then go into Edit Hearings to generate the notices, you will not get the "reset" language on the notice that you print from the Hearings screen-and that wouldn't be good either.

 

Applying macros--I've talked to several clerks who have to put a macro in the record sheet to say that the case is being rescheduled due to an administrative order or for COVID reasons. If that macro is worded in such a way that the same macro can be put into each case (i.e. not referencing the specific hearing that is being rescheduled), you could use the macro on one case, and then use Copy Litigant Data to copy that RS entry to each of the other case numbers, using the Case Number tab of Copy Litigant Data instead of the Batch tab.  Then, once the macro is in all of the cases, you could use the Update Docketed Cases program to update the hearing dates and print the notices.

 

The next few weeks are going to be very unique for all of us.  I'll send along other thoughts as they come up.  We'll also keep a running list of all of these tips here.


Use Chrome Remote Desktop to work remotely, accessing everything on your work computer from home

Per e-mail 4/2/2020

A few of you have asked how you can Implement remote access to let users get to everything on their work PCs, including all Goodin software, all their files and your network servers/drives, just as if they were sitting at their desks.  There are many options for remote access, and your IT staff may already have a preferred choice.  If not, one option you may want to discuss with them is Chrome Remote Desktop.  It only takes a few minutes to set up, and current instructions for setup and use can always be found here.  Got questions?  Give Kurt a call.

Clerk action required to make sure CMS users (SAs, PDs, POs) don't lose access to secure records on Judici

Per e-mail 4/2/2020

For some time, Judici has provided free access to PC JIMS records for CMS users in the judicial system (judges, SAs, PDs, POs)... and this is especially useful now that some such staff are working from home.  In January 2020, the Remote Access Policy was rolled out, preventing non-CMS users such as private attorneys from seeing confidential records such as juvenile cases and secured documents. While most judges were fully-configured in the CMS to allow continued access to such confidential records, many SA/PD/PO users were not.  So we had to put in temporary Judici security overrides so these users wouldn't lose access.  But in the end, only the Circuit Clerk can grant access to sensitive information on Judici and ensure that CMS users are properly configured.

As such, we will soon be sending you a blank Exhibit D2- AUTOMATIC Extended Access Security Groups document to address these user groups, along with a copy of your existing version (if any) of Exhibit D2... which would've covered only judges and private attorneys). Kat will be following up with you if you need help with security configuration.  Kurt, Trey, or other support staff will then get in touch to make sure your SA, PD and POs are configured properly in the CMS so that we can remove our overrides without such users losing access.

Those who want to read up on this can check out this page.if they want.  Or just wait for us to get in touch,


Identifying video hearings

Per e-mail 5/6/2020

We've had a few calls asking how users can identify certain hearings as being video hearings. The answer is to add courtroom codes that identify your video options. The table of courtrooms is completely under your control. You can call these courtrooms anything you want, as long as it is 3 characters or less. So ZM could be an option for ZOOM, but a more generic VID could be an option for all video hearings, just in case you decide to use something other than Zoom in the future. CC for CourtCall or TCC for Tele Court Call... whatever works for you! That's the beauty of it.

To add courtrooms, navigate as follows:



Putting video hearing details in your notices

Per e-mail 5/18/2020

Some of you are being asked to schedule Zoom hearings, or other types of video hearings, and you are needing to send the parties Zoom meeting details that they can use to get into those hearings when the time comes.  If you’ve been doing this, you’ve no doubt struggled to find the best way to do it, as I have over the last few days.  Some of the options I considered were:

You could put the Zoom Hearing details into a record sheet entry and do a notice of the record sheet entry. The con of that method would be that the password for the video hearing would be visible on Judici, which just makes it a little too easy for it to be shared on social media, leading to the possibility of a crippling number of people attending the Zoom hearing. 

I considered telling clerks to run that notice of the record sheet notice first, and then remove the password from the record sheet entry, but a judge I talked to in the 4th Judicial Circuit said that could lead to issues in an appeal. 

I considered Notice Generation, but Notice Generation doesn’t give you the benefit of the email option that the Record Sheet and Hearing notices give you, so that wasn’t a great idea.

Just sending an email was, of course, an option, but that doesn’t give you a record in the file that shows that the parties were given the meeting details, not to mention the fact that you don’t always have email addresses for people.

But today, I came up with what I hope you’ll think is a good solution, and I wanted to pass the idea along to you.  When these zoom meetings are set, you’ll be given a lot of information regarding the ways people can connect to it.  Here’s an example:


 

In this information, the key pieces of information are:

A website address

Meeting ID

Password

Telephone number for calling in

 

So here’s how you can go about getting that information into a notice of a hearing…

Let’s start by copying the web address.  The easiest way to copy a web address without accidentally clicking the hyperlink is to right-click on it and choose Copy Link Address:

 

Now that you have that website address copied to your clipboard, pull up that case in PC JIMS and go into the Edit Hearings screen.

Select the parties in the lower grid who should be notified and then double-click the Comment field for one of them, remove any existing comment and then paste the web address that is on your clipboard into the field.  Do the same for any other recipients of the notice. 

Now, to put in the meeting ID and password… Go to the Edit menu and choose Edit/Courthouse.

Going back to the Zoom details, copy the Meeting ID to your clipboard and paste it in the Name field.

Type “Pwd:” in the Street field and then either type or paste in the password.  Then type “Tel:” after it and either type or paste in the Chicago telephone number.  When you are done, the Edit Address screen will look like this (with your own city and state, obviously):

 

Hit the Done button, and then hit Save.  The notice will print if you either don’t use the PCJ email feature or if you don’t have an email address for a party on the case.  Otherwise it will send an email.  

 

The email will look something like this:

-----Original Message-----
From: Goodin County - DMC
Sent: Friday, May 15, 2020 12:12 PM
Subject: Notice of Appearance for Hearing on Case No. 2018-CH-000001

State of Illinois
In the Circuit Court of Judicial Circuit #0 Cook County

2018-CH-000001
Lien Foreclosure
SCHMOE, JOSEPH
VS.
DOE, JOHN

The above-entitled case is set for:
        Preliminary hrg on Monday, June 15, 2020 at 09:00AM
        Video court on Monday, June 15, 2020 at 09:00AM in the


        Meeting ID: 895 1134 6958
        Tel: 312-626-6799 Pwd: 160979
        Hillsboro, IL 62049-0000

This notice sent or delivered to:
        DONALDSON, DEVON (NOTE:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89511346958?pwd=NFVhRkNKWTdTd1pjRzJjQjFFVFVSUT09
)
        18 HARRISON ST

        CARTERVILLE IL, 00006-2918
       

BECKER, WILLIAM (NOTE:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89511346958?pwd=NFVhRkNKWTdTd1pjRzJjQjFFVFVSUT09
)
        CLARKE, MARSHA (NOTE:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89511346958?pwd=NFVhRkNKWTdTd1pjRzJjQjFFVFVSUT09
)
        111 SESAME ST
        INA IL, 00006-2846

Cook County Circuit Clerk
(618) 549-0286

*** Please do NOT reply to this e-mail--replies to this address will not
be processed.***

 

And the printed notices will look like this:


Oh!  Also, I talked to one judge who suggested that her clerk schedule a hearing with the hearing type of Video Court at the same time as the hearing that has the actual hearing type.  They opted for that solution over the idea of using a courtroom of VID or ZM.  You can see what that looks like in the last picture, where I had scheduled a Preliminary Hearing at the same time as the Video Court hearing.  Just thought I’d pass that little tidbit on as well…

 

I hope this information has been helpful to you.  You can find these and all of our other COVID tips here:

http://support.goodinassociates.com/covid-19-planning

 

Emailing from the Case Viewer

Since this isn't specific to COVID operations, this topic can be found on its own page, at http://support.goodinassociates.com/2000.






















Comments