Electronic Document Pilot Program
On October 1, 1999, the Supreme Court entered an order authorizing St. Clair County to function as a pilot site for electronic imaging of documents filed in Traffic (TR) cases. The Order set out program procedures, as follows:
- Imaging of all documents upon filing;
- Storage of the paper documents in "Document Storage Receptacles (DSR)" instead of case files;
- Preparing the common law record in appeals by generating copies of the electronic images.
St. Clair was also authorized to utilize electronic images in all phases of traffic case processing. The pilot program was expanded on: April 26, 2004 to include Driving Under the Influence (DT), Criminal Misdemeanor (CM), and Ordinance Violation (OV) cases, and March 7, 2005 to include Conservation Violations (CV). On April 8, 2005, a General Administrative Order was entered in St. Clair County to automatically seal the DSR's along with restricting access to ensure that impounded, sealed and expunged information was appropriately secured.
Since the documents are not stored in dedicated case files, destruction of the documents stored in the DSR's has not been authorized since the pilot's inception. Specific retention and destruction procedures are required through the Supreme Court's General Administrative Order on Recordkeeping in the Circuit Courts. Currently, the Electronic Record Standards and Principals cover only civil case types; the St. Clair County pilot project is the only application statewide that is focused on criminal and quasi-criminal case types.