Domestic and Juvenile Courts to Begin Submitting Statistics Electronically in July
The number of Ohio common pleas courts filing case statistics electronically will more than double in July with the launch of new forms for use by Domestic Relations and Juvenile divisions of the court.
The Ohio Supreme Court informed domestic relations and juvenile judges last week that electronic forms are now available to submit and view data online, eliminating the need to submit paper files that Supreme Court staff has to manually enter into its statistical database.
The addition of forms for domestic relations and juvenile judges adds 215 more judges to the system required to file electronically, and represents 32 percent of the case data the high court collects through eStats. Presently, 244 general division common pleas court judges began using the new online system in 2014, and 81 of them also have the responsibility of filing at least one of the other two forms. With the addition, 459 of the 646 trial court judges, or 71 percent, will be submitting their statistics online.
The streamlined statistical reporting stems from Amendments to Rule 37 of the Rules of Superintendence for the Courts of Ohio. While domestic relations and juvenile judges can begin using eStats to submit the forms they won’t be required to do so until July 15, 2015.
With the addition of the domestic relations and juvenile courts, 98 percent of the data collected from common pleas courts will be collected electronically. The Case Management Section is still preparing electronic forms for the probate division of common pleas, which provide 2 percent of the data and is collected from 95 judges. The final large segments to be addressed are from the 252 municipal and county court judges.
Tasha Ruth, manager of the Supreme Court’s Case Management Section, said that when fully implemented, the new system will simplify the report submission process, eliminate redundancy in data entry and allow caseload statistics to be more readily available. This information forms the basis of the annual Ohio Courts Statistical Report. It is also used to analyze case filing patterns and trends to assist local courts in managing their resources.
Ruth said the time case management staff now spends on data entry will instead be dedicated to analysis and feedback geared toward assisting local courts in monitoring trends and improving the administration of justice.