(JACKSON COUNTY) - Jackson County residents now have something they've never had in the past - accessibility to a public records database from the comfort of their homes or places of business.
Aubrey Wood, of the Tribune reports that's because a new statewide case management system, Odyssey, has finally made its way to the county.
"We went live Tuesday morning," county Clerk Amanda Low¬ery said of the Odyssey system.
To access information produced by Jackson Circuit Court and Jackson Superior Court I and II, visit http://mycase.in.gov. Lowery said Odyssey allows the public accessibility to nearly all county records that are considered to be public information and at any time of night or day. "That includes any criminal and city proceedings, mortgage foreclosures, small claims and other information," Lowery said. Dissolutions and other public records also are online.
Proceedings involving juveniles, such as adoptions and juvenile court proceedings, however, remain confidential and will not be available.
Lowery said in the past, anyone wishing to search for the information now available online had to visit the courthouse and sit at a public terminal, which wasn't the easiest to use.
"And now you don't have to wait until the courthouse is open," Lowery added.
The Odyssey system was implemented by the Indiana Supreme Court's Judicial Technology and Automation Committee and allows for data shar-ing to any county where the system is up and running.
With the recent addition of Jackson County's three courts and the Union City Court, the system has now been installed in 120 courts in 40 counties.
Case data from courts using Odyssey is available to the public at no cost. Data from Jackson County courts went online Tues¬day, and data from Union City Court became available April 23.
Installation of Jackson County's system was wrapped up in early April, and it went live for training purposes April 9.
"We spent two weeks training and have been using the system every day since," Lowery said. The system is used by Lowery's office, which has satellite offices at each of the courts, as well as the offices serving those courts.
"There are some kinks that need to be worked out," she said. "But overall, we are pleased."
With the addition of Jackson County, there are now 10 contiguous counties in southern Indiana using Odyssey.
Jackson Superior Court I Judge Bruce Markel III said the sys¬tem will free his staff from having to answer telephone calls from people with questions about their hearing dates and their attorneys.
"They're going to find any information about their case including hearing dates online," Markel said. "We get a lot of telephone calls."
Markel said the state is planning an official
unveiling of the system, and details about that event will be released when they become available.
Lowery said Odyssey picked up the data from Jackson County back to 1989, when the county's offices became computerized.
She said the system will be especially handy for people who live outside the county.
"We get a lot of calls from people out of county wanting information," Lowery said.
The system also allows the Indiana State Police to input traffic tickets with e-ticketing software, eliminating the need for manual data entry by clerks.
"We had 8,000 tickets from the state police last year," Lowery said. Tickets written by Seymour, Brownstown, Crothersville and Medora officers as well as those written by county officers will still have to be entered manually, however.
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