Paperless courtroom pilot system launches in Pima County - Tucson News Now

Paperless courtroom pilot system launches in Pima County

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Going paperless has finally hit the courtrooms of Southern Arizona.  

According to a release from the Arizona Supreme Court, Pima County's Superior Court will be part of a pilot program to go 'paperless'.  This test will be conducted in real time, said the release, using a judicial dashboard called 'eBench'.  

eBench will consolidate case documents and data onto a single computer screen.  Three judges - one each in civil, criminal and family law began using the system on Monday, August 25. Judges using eBench will have access to case documents and data via an easy-to-navigate interface and functionality by using full-text searching of documents, automated sticky notes, electronic sharing of comments and more.  This program is a major step toward the courts eliminating the need for paper files. 

The three judges using this new eBench system are Scott Rash (Criminal Bench), Charles Harrington (Presiding Judge, Civil Bench) and Jeffrey Bergin (Presiding Judge, Family Bench).  Each is working with new touch screen monitors on the bench and, soon, in their chambers.   

“I am excited to work with eBench and see numerous benefits to using this technology.  This is an indispensable development in our progression to a paperless courtroom,” Judge Rash said, in a recent release. 

After procuring the system, developed by Mentis Technologies, and beginning the months-long implementation process with Pima Superior Court, the Administrative Office of the Courts established a working group to implement a solution that will meet the broad array of needs of courts across the state.  

“We are glad that we can participate in this pilot project.  Pima County Superior Court is the busiest court outside of Maricopa County.  Use of eBench by our judges is expected to be a first step to a nearly statewide deployment of this exciting new technology,” said the Honorable Sarah R. Simmons, Presiding Judge of the Pima County courts.

According to the release Maricopa County Superior Court uses a different system to manage its courtroom records and there are no plans at this time to use eBench in the county. 

Copyright 2014 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.
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