A study by the National Center for State Courts has found that effective case flow management can help any court across all types and all manners of disposition (NCSC, 2020). The study looked into differences in timeliness and established that effective work processes are a major factor driving the capacity of a court in meeting Model Time Standards.
The use of court management software automates and streamlines court processes, leading to increased efficiency. Aside from court matters and document management, court management platforms provide secure communication and file-sharing capabilities, comprehensive legal practice and reference guides by state and jurisdiction, and quick access to legal research via articles and case law, among other tools.
This article presents a list of the best court management software that can help your organization in achieving consistency and competency in your case operations. The unique tools and features of each software are provided so you can choose which one can help enhance your legal practice. For pricing information, the vendors provide a quote upon assessing court requirements.
Since the coronavirus pandemic, the United States judicial system saw a rapid digitalization of processes to cope with the ever-evolving health mandates. Recent data shows that 93% of judges and court professionals conducted and/or participated in remote hearings in 2020 (Thomson Reuters Institute, 2021). In almost all aspects of court proceedings, courts embraced technology to slow down the rapidly increasing case backlogs. The rapid pivot to using court management software radically changed the court landscape. In criminal cases, it tremendously benefits from the availability of evidence management software to consolidate evidential materials presented in courthouses.
Court case backlogs, however, were already a problem even before the pandemic. A study on the problems surrounding court backlogs conducted in 2022 showed that 98% of felony cases were processed within in 365 days (Thomson Reuters Institute, 2022). This is higher than the 85% processed in 2019.
In addition to this, court case backlogs have increased since the pandemic. A recent survey showed that there were 1274 case backlogs in 2021 compared to 958 in 2019 (Thomson Reuters Institute, 2021).
Case filings dropped dramatically in the first months of the pandemic, and have not returned to 2019 levels except for probate. However, even with the drop in filings during the pandemic, for almost all case types, dispositions fell behind. According to the National Center for State Courts (2022), there were only 986,352 dispositions, 1,182,703 filings, and 196,351 pending court cases as of January 2021.
While courts struggled to cope with backlogs that were aggravated by the pandemic, the situation also presented itself as an opportunity for growth. While there are many challenges in a virtual court environment, the technology solutions used convinced court professionals that when all files are stored in a single platform, there is greater transparency and faster workflow. In fact, a recent survey shows that 77% believe the level of accessibility to justice increased in virtual environments (Thomson Reuters Institute, 2021).
Indeed, the efficiencies achieved through automation and digitization have significantly improved court management. The connected systems streamlined operations and increased public access to the judicial system. Due to this, an overwhelming majority of legal professionals expressed plans to continue hybrid court hearings in the future. Among the types of hearings included in these plans are civil cases (57%), criminal cases (45%), and family law cases (37%) (Thomson Reuters Institute, 2021).
Source: Thomson Reuters Institute 2021
The intention to continue hybrid hearings and other court proceedings virtually demonstrates that courts have embraced technology as a major driver of efficiency. Court management software has delivered solutions to congestion in the courts. While the shortage of judges is another problem, the ability of the best court management software to streamline processes will affect the rendering of justice and speed up the time spent between the date of filing to the date of trial.
For your court management requirements, carefully take note of the features of the following court management software and focus on how these tools could benefit your team and enhance your operations.
The Odyssey Enterprise Case Manager is the core of the Enterprise Justice product suite of Odyssey, which is designed for the unique needs of courts of any size, from small country courts to large statewide implementations. Enterprise Case Manager provides secure access to party and case data, functioning as a single case-type system, or as the hub of a unified, highly integrated case management system. For comprehensive court administration requirements, Enterprise Case Manager offers complete tools that will streamline and automate processes across the entire justice system.
Benchmark secures all the important case data for state, country, or municipal courts by providing seamless conversion. It is capable of integrating with virtually any system and provides clerks with full access to an electronic court docket. This allows clerks to retrieve and print documents as needed in the courtroom, and update case information in real-time. The Benchmark Web tool allows public users to access their case information conveniently from their personal computers. Although this access has limitations, it significantly helps in reducing courthouse traffic.
Incode Court Municipal Justice is a court management software that gives you everything you need to streamline case management, increase compliance, and decrease your workload. This feature-packed software solution is designed to solve the challenges that local and municipal courts face every day. Without relying on third-party vendors, Incode Court Municipal Justice provides case resolution tools as well as a virtual court that facilitates hearings via a secure video stream.
C-Track is a web-based court management platform that automates court workflow for increased efficiency. It optimizes day-to-day court operations, including case processing, encoding of case information, presiding over hearings supporting court technology, and interacting with courts on a regular basis. It easily adapts to the unique rules and critical processes of your local court. C-Track easily integrates with other internal and external systems, thus providing streamlined workflow and faster case processing.
eCourt by Journal Technologies is a document management and eFiling solution used by prosecutor and public defender offices, trial and appellate courts, including probation, tribal and state, and county governments. It is a configurable business processing platform that is designed to meet the needs of your court or agency. eCourt by Journal Technologies can be deployed on the cloud or on premise.
Fullcourt Enterprise is a case management software solution that is configured to efficiently manage court cases. It adapts to your unique workflow, whether you belong to a large state or a small local government. It has an easy-to-use browser-based interface, a powerful back-end infrastructure, and modular tools and applications. FullCourt Enterprise solution offers deployment, help desk capabilities, consulting and training services, and complete initial configuration options.
DuProcess® Court Case Management is a software solution developed specifically for courts. This fully functional, process-oriented software captures all significant data from initiation through post-disposition. DuProcess Court Case Management has a client-server desktop interface that allows for the easy input of information, which is also fully integrated with MS Word for document and form generation. Among the tools included in the system are imaging capabilities for scanning and retrieval of case-related documents, and a web-based inquiry for remote access.
Jayhawk Court Software is a case management platform that provides a system for tracking offenses, dispositions, judge’s notes, hearings, warrants, suspensions, and payments. It is a comprehensive solution that includes customized reports and documents for all court reporting requirements. The search tool of Jayhawk Court Software can easily locate cases by defendant name, case number, and citation number. You can also add additional fields depending on your unique work processes.
JURY + Web Generation is a jury management software solution that is designed to adapt to the operations of courts of all sizes. It is specifically designed for jury management, which includes source lists to summonses, payroll, and back-end reporting. JURY+ Web Generation easily interfaces with other advanced technologies, which makes it the ideal platform as your court caseload expands.
Casedoc Court Case Management is a court and justice software that provides a comprehensive and end-to-end solution for the automation and optimization of daily work processes. Through workflow synchronization, Casedoc Court Case Management allows teams to effectively collaborate. Built on the Advanced Case Management Platform of Casedoc, it provides organizations with all required case types, workflow, rules, document, and record management. Powered by the Casedoc platform, it is a standard system for centralized operations and management of documents, judicial processes, sharing information, and inter-team collaboration.
Caselle Court Management is a solution for keeping track of information associated with court proceedings and violations. It is ideal for city administration as it keeps track of speeding tickets, bail, and even fishing and game licenses. For every type of offense, Caselle Court Management identifies the individual fees and automatically sets up individual pay schedules. The city administrator can also customize the system on how bail money will be handled.
COURT by Cardinal Tracking is a software solution for the collection and application of payments to citations that can be accessed 24/7. It can be used as a standalone system or can be integrated with eCitation, MobileCite, or Badge RMS system to facilitate automatic data transfer from the field officer to the desk of the court clerk. These tools enable the automatic tracking and management of violations and their corresponding fines, fee calculations, warrants, and bonds.
Syscon Court Clerk is a court management software that provides a management system for court records and dockets with the aim of streamlining court operations and automating case filings. This platform is a product of consultations with judges, court administrators, and court clerks, and provides a complete case and docket management. Syscon Court Clerk includes tools for indexing, scanning, searching, and viewing any document associated with a case. It also offers a family of solutions catering to different regulatory and functional requirements.
eForce Municipal Court Software is a platform that can import and create citations directly within the court software, and also track fines, fees, and restitution. From the eForce Records Management module, you can import citations and track the status and dates of events in real-time. eForce Municipal Court Software also lets you create internal and external dockets, add or edit court conditions, and add custom fields that reflect your unique workflow. It also automatically checks entry errors whenever you create, submit, or alter any citation or case information.
Verdict is a court management platform that provides comprehensive case management by streamlining processes from disposition to final judgment. Designed to manage all court filings, Verdict is built on recommended case filing standards and utilizes the latest open technology. The eFiling technology allows processes to be transparent and speeds up the processing of documents compared to traditional over-the-counter transactions.
Synergy Case Management System is a software for court management that handles cases from initiation to post-disposition. It integrates all courts and speeds up case disposition, which improves adjudication while providing a more accessible public service. For the judiciary, Synergy eCase operates at all court levels and allows citizens to access the courts to appeal an existing decision, or to electronically file a public first instance court case.
UniCourt is a court management software that provides a portal for case research and case tracking. It has a Legal Data API core infrastructure that automatically tracks cases and issues alerts on new docket updates. UniCourt provides real-time access to state and federal (PACER) court data and connects your applications to billions of data points. The APIs of UniCourt automate data entry for your workflow processes and docket management. Its data infrastructure is managed efficiently to compare with the best library management software solutions. Pricing for UniCourt starts at $49 per month for personal use.
Noble Justice Case Management is a court software solution that provides end-to-end court administration, from eFiling to probation management. By automating court workflows, Noble Justice Case Management provides a full digital court experience in managing tasks and communications, which provides seamless case management to court officials. Built on the Salesforce platform, it has the ability to generate both present and historical cases, and send paper and digital forms and letters.
ICON Case Management Software is an integrated court management application that facilitates case docketing, reporting, and document management on one platform. It uses a variety of pre-defined and user-defined criteria for searching cases. The financials feature can receive payments, reconcile accounts, pay bills, print checks, and detailed financial statements and audit reports. With ICON, you can assign a workflow and schedule case events, and set alerts and triggers for cases. The eSign technology helps create a paperless environment while role-based security ensures that data and other documents are secure.
CourtFileNow is a court management software solution that provides a comprehensive web-based eFiling system for courts, clerks, and attorneys. It enables legal teams to electronically file cases and documents, generate electronic service and communications, and manage firm and fee information. By streamlining the workflow and control of the justice system, CourtFileNow helps save tax dollars and automatically routes electronic files to all authorized users. Efficiency is improved by providing courts with instant access to all cases.
The use of court management software played a significant role in the legal sector as courts and legal professionals looked for ways to adapt to the new work environment post-lockdowns. At the same time, it increased access to the justice system and enabled courts to conduct proceedings through virtual platforms which fast-tracked dispositions.
While it took some time for courts to completely adopt technology, circumstances forced them to deploy platforms, from which they are now reaping the benefits. Having a single court management system database enabled large networks to streamline processes. The quick access to case information facilitated efficient proceedings. But this is only the beginning, as technology will continue to transform the justice system until such time that congestion and backlogs would be a thing of the past.