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Illinois Courts Response to COVID-19

Judicial Management Information Services Division (IT) | State of Illinois Office of the Illinois Courts

(217) 785-3906 (Springfield Office)

Skip Robertson, Assistant Director

The Judicial Management Information Services division (JMIS / IT) is one of ten divisions / offices in the Administrative Office of the Illinois Courts (AOIC). At the direction of the Supreme Court and Administrative Director, JMIS provides technology to the Illinois Supreme Court, Appellate Courts, Circuit Courts, reviewing court supporting units, and the AOIC. JMIS coordinates the Court’s statewide digital recording initiative, providing digital audio and video recording systems, remote hearing capabilities, and integration with existing courtroom technologies in the Supreme, Appellate, and Circuit Courts.

JMIS is organized in five groups, consisting of 25 professionals which implement new technologies and services, respond to specific technology needs, and support for Court IT initiatives throughout the judicial branch. JMIS’s IT Security group manages cybersecurity systems, firewall and security equipment, policies, and account administration in the Illinois reviewing courts and digital recording courthouses. The Hardware / Software group manages server applications, desktop and laptop computers, printers and peripherals, and productivity software for the Supreme Court, Appellate Court, and AOIC offices. The Hardware / Software group is also responsible for the installation and support of the digital recording systems in the Supreme Court (2 courtrooms), Appellate Court (6 courtrooms) and Circuit Courts where there are more than 420 courtrooms capable of digital recording. JMIS’s Internet services group works with Judicial Branch offices to post content and maintain a feature-rich modern website for the Supreme Court. The User Services group staffs JMIS’ Help Desk, coordinates telecommunication services, phones (land and cellular lines), and manages asset tracking of all technology equipment. The Application Group is responsible for designing enhancements to approximately fifteen existing Oracle enterprise database applications and works closely with court users and partners to support three ‘Commercial off the Shelf’ applications, providing mission critical services.

In addition, JMIS collaborates with other AOIC divisions on the enhancements, testing, and implementation of numerous SaaS services supporting the Supreme Court’s statewide technology initiatives. eFileIL is the Court’s statewide e-filing initiative that was successfully implemented allowing civil e-filing in all 102 circuit courts and 6 courts of review and permissive e-filing of criminal cases in 67 circuit courts. eFileIL processes approximately 500,000 filings per month allowing attorneys and SRL’s the ability to file court documents 7 x 24 hours a day. The AOIC is exploring the possibility to expand e-filing to include Criminal and Quasi-Criminal e-filing through eFileIL.

JMIS staff have also collaborated in the implementation, testing, and enhancements to the Court’s statewide document repository, called re:SearchIL. The AOIC has worked with court offices and policy boards to bridge technology and policy to develop the Supreme Court’s Remote Access Policy, which governs access to court documents through the re:SearchIL repository. In addition, the AOIC is exploring a statewide, data and online reporting initiative that will provide a robust statistical reporting tool that can integrate directly with record keeping systems, probation case management systems, and other data sources to allow detail reporting services.

The recent global COVID-19 pandemic introduced an urgent need for judges, attorneys, clerks, and court staff across the state of Illinois to alter procedures and support remote work and court hearings. In response, technologies were assessed to integrated remote hearings with court operations, such as Zoom, mobile carts, and digital video recording systems. The Supreme Court’s website became a hub of information with access to notices, links to Supreme Court Orders, local court rules, Covid-19 announcements from all Illinois courts, including remote hearing information.