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Technology is increasingly influencing the manner in which the court system conducts its business. This trend represents significant promise with regard to access for court users as well as the generation of data necessary for the efficient management of the courts, yet at the same time presents numerous challenges. The purpose of the Florida Courts Technology Commission is to advise the Chief Justice and Supreme Court on matters relating to the use of technology in the Judicial Branch.

The Commission shall have primary responsibility to coordinate and review recommendations with regard to all court policy matters relating to the use of technology in support of the effective administration of justice. The Appellate Court Technology Committee, the Trial Court Technology Committee, the Electronic Filing Committee, and any other court technology committees or workgroups that may be established shall adhere to technology policies and standards adopted by the Commission. Court technology committees or workgroups with proposals that implicate court technology policy shall present those policy recommendations to the full Commission for review and approval, prior to submission to the Supreme Court.

Over the next two years, the Commission shall perform the following specific tasks:

1. Develop a comprehensive framework for the implementation of technology within the court system that addresses the needs of judicial officers, court managers and staff, and court users. This shall include assessing existing technology utilized in the state courts to determine whether it is sufficient to meet current and anticipated future needs and, if it is not, making appropriate recommendations for adjustments. The proposed framework should be consistent with the goals and objectives established in the Long-Range Strategic Plan and the 2006-2008 Operational Plan for the Florida Judicial Branch.

2. Complete the following projects that originated from In re: Implementation of Report and Recommendations of the Committee on Privacy and Court Records, No. AOSC06-20 (Fla. June 30, 2006):

a. In cooperation with the clerks of court, propose uniform technical and substantive standards that would allow consideration of remote access to court records in electronic form, conditioned on the effective identification and protection of confidential and exempt information. These standards should address user identification issues, the screening, redacting, striking, and sealing of court records to ensure that confidential information is not improperly released. The standards should assimilate recommendations that are to be provided by the Committee on Access to Court Records, the Steering Committee on Children and Families in the Court, and the Electronic Filing Committee.

b. Continue to oversee, monitor, and evaluate the pilot project implemented by the Clerk of Court of Manatee County for electronic release of court records.

c. Evaluate appropriate security precautions that are necessary with regard to any automated search technologies that may extract information from court records; consider methods or regulations that require commercial users of electronic court records to regularly update their databases with records that have been corrected or purged of erroneous, expunged, and sealed records; and advise the Chief Justice on the implications and advisability of available policy options.

d. Review and evaluate matters relating to user access fees identified by the Committee on Privacy and Court Records1/ and advise the Chief Justice on the implications and advisability of system funding models that are uniform statewide and do not impose costs beyond those necessary to support the system.

3. Continue to provide guidance and oversight on the development of an electronic filing portal that establishes a common entry point for all electronically filed court submissions in all jurisdictions. The Commission shall formulate proposed policies to ensure uniformity and standards to secure a comprehensive electronic record. The Commission shall also ensure proper outreach to court stakeholders to obtain input, and incorporate the results of that outreach effort into the electronic filing portal implementation plan submitted to the Court.

4. Ensure that the technology utilized at all levels of the State Courts System is capable of full integration.

5. Perform such other assignments related to the use of technology in the Judicial Branch as may be directed by the Chief Justice.

The Commission should integrate appropriate security policies into all projects to ensure the integrity and efficiency of court technology systems.

The Commission should also work to incorporate the principles of accessibility into all court technology projects, through consideration and application of the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990; sections 262.601 through 262.606, Florida Statutes; and any other applicable state or federal disability laws.

The Commission is authorized to propose amendments to rules of court procedure and judicial administration if necessary to effectuate the tasks identified hereinabove, and in so doing the Commission is directed to establish the necessary liaison relationships with the appropriate Florida Bar rules committees.

Should the Commission make recommendations that require additional funding or resources to implement within the court system, the Commission is directed to establish the necessary liaison relationships with the District Court of Appeal Budget Commission and the Trial Court Budget Commission. At a minimum, the Commission shall provide the Chair of the appropriate Budget Commission with copies of Commission reports and recommendations that reference the need for additional court funding or resources.

The following individuals are appointed to the Commission for a term to expire on November 30, 2009:

The Honorable Mary Cay Blanks
Clerk of Court, Third District Court of Appeal
2001 S.W. 117th Avenue
Miami, Florida 33175-1716

The Honorable Angela M. Cox
County Court Judge, Duval County
330 E. Bay Street, Room 356
Jacksonville, Florida 32202

The Honorable Gary M. Farmer
Appellate Court Judge, Fourth District Court of Appeal
1525 Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard
West Palm Beach, Florida 33401

The Honorable Jim Fuller
Clerk of Court, Duval County
Duval County Courthouse, Room 103
330 East Bay Street
Jacksonville, Florida 32202-2919

The Honorable Marci L. Goodman
Circuit Court Judge, First Judicial Circuit
Santa Rosa County Courthouse, Box K
6865 Caroline Street
Milton, Florida 32570

The Honorable Sally A. Heyman
Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners
Stephen P. Clark Center
111 N.W. 1st Street, Suite 220
Miami, Florida 33128-1963

The Honorable Judith L. Kreeger
Circuit Court Judge, Eleventh Judicial Circuit
73 West Flagler Street
Miami, Florida 33130

The Honorable C. Alan Lawson
Appellate Court Judge, Fifth District Court of Appeal
300 South Beach Street
Daytona Beach, Florida 32114

Mr. Ted McFetridge
Trial Court Administrator, Eighth Judicial Circuit
201 E. University Avenue, Room 417
Gainesville, Florida 32601

The Honorable Manuel Menendez, Jr.
Chief Judge, Thirteenth Judicial Circuit
800 E. Twiggs Street, Suite 602
Tampa, Florida 33602

The Honorable Wayne M. Miller
County Court Judge, Monroe County
Monroe County Courthouse Annex
502 Whitehead Street, 1st Floor
Key West, Florida 33040

Mr. Ken Nelson
Court Technology Officer, Sixth Judicial Circuit
324 South Fort Harrison, Room 103
Clearwater, Florida 34616

Ms. Carol Ortman
Trial Court Administrator, Seventeenth Judicial Circuit
Broward County Courthouse
201 S.E. 6th Street, Room 880
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida 33301

Mr. Paul R. Regensdorf
Stearns, Weaver, Miller, Weissler, Alhadeff & Sitterson, P.A.
200 East Law Olas Boulevard
21st Floor, Penthouse A
Ft. Lauderdale, Florida 33301

Mr. Murray B. Silverstein
Murray B. Silverstein, P.A.
150 2nd Avenue, Suite 900
St. Petersburg, Florida 33701-3341

Mr. Kent Spuhler
Executive Director, Florida Legal Services
2425 Torreya Drive
Tallahassee, Florida 32303-4039

The Honorable Charles E. Williams
Circuit Court Judge, Twelfth Judicial Circuit
2002 Ringling Boulevard
Sarasota, Florida 34237

Judge Judith L. Kreeger will serve as Chair and Justice Raoul G. Cantero, III, will serve as the Supreme Court’s liaison to the Commission through November 30, 2009. Staff support will be provided by the Office of the State Courts Administrator.

DONE AND ORDERED at Tallahassee, Florida, on November 19, 2007.

Chief Justice R. Fred Lewis
1/ See Committee on Privacy and Court Records, Privacy, Access and Court Records: Report and Recommendations of the Committee on Privacy and Court Records (2005).
Congratulations! You're now booked up on Administrative Order 7-59 (from Florida's Supreme Court)!

Please get the justice you deserve.


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