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Illinois Courts response to COVID-19

Judicial Management Information Services Division (IT)

(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 (in support of Supreme Court initiatives), reviewing court supporting units, and in the AOIC. JMIS coordinates the Court’s statewide digital recording initiative, which provides digital audio and video recording systems in courtrooms of the Supreme, Appellate, and Circuit Courts.

JMIS is organized in five groups, consisting of 25 professionals which implement new technologies and respond to specific technology needs, and support for Court IT initiatives throughout the judicial branch. JMIS’s IT Security group manages the Courts’ cybersecurity systems, firewall and security equipment, security 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 (https://illinoiscourts.gov). The User Services group staffs the technology Help Desk, supports telecommunication services and phones (land and cellular lines), and coordinates asset tracking of all technology equipment. The Application Group is responsible for designing enhancements to approximately fifteen Oracle enterprise database applications. The Applications Group works closely with partners to support two Commercial off the Shelf applications, providing necessary functionality and features to support requirements from court users.

In addition, JMIS collaborates with other AOIC divisions on the design, implementation, testing, and overall support of several of 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. 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 re:SearchIL. 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 sources of court-related data stores.

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