"Oregon eCourt will give courts and judges the tools they need to provide just, prompt, and safe resolution of civil disputes; to improve public safety and the quality of life in our communities; and to improve the lives of children and families in crisis."
Oregon eCourt, a statewide web-based courthouse, will transform how Oregon's court system serves the people of this state. It is the Oregon Judicial Department's primary statewide undertaking for the next five years, and it is a program that has received both support and funding from the Oregon Legislative Assembly. Oregon will become the first state to provide a statewide virtual courthouse, using technology to increase access to the courts, improve court efficiency, and ensure that judges have complete and timely information with which to make the most effective dispositions.
Oregon eCourt technology will provide judges and litigants with immediate access to authorized case information, details, and records provided by the Oregon courts, legal community, other public safety and social service agencies, ensuring that justice is served, and that people's lives will meet with appropriate opportunities for improvement.
Oregon eCourt technology will provide security tools to protect citizens from identity theft and the possible exploitation of sensitive information found in court records. The protection of families and children in crisis who may be at risk for harm, is enhanced by the ability of the court to recognize and respond to data placed in the system through case events or by other agencies. The availability of such comprehensive data allows the Court to provide orders of protection to law enforcement quickly so that the necessary protective measures are taken.
Information provided to courts through the old, paper-based process utilizes a case number-based system. Through Oregon eCourt technology, all case information will be digitally organized by a person's name or names. This allows courts to see all current and past cases related to one person that may contain important data to help judges make the most effective decisions in pretrial releases, sentencing, and probation violations in criminal cases. It will also enhance decision making in cases involving dependency, delinquency, and family law.
The Oregon eCourt system will not only give courts better tools to improve public safety, but it will transform how private businesses, public agencies, and individuals obtain information and services from our courts. It will transform how judges, court staff, and consumers of judicial services conduct daily court business. Our traditional courts have operated within a paper-based system where information and documents could only be accessed at a single courthouse during the eight hour business day.
Oregon eCourt, when fully implemented, will be the most accessible courthouse in the state, providing court services from any computer with an Internet connection, at any time. Consumers, public safety partners, and the legal community will have 24 hour a day - 7 day a week, access (based on that individual's authorization) to:
documents and case records
court information and court calendars
case-related filing and payment services
multilingual guides, online fill-in-the-blank court forms, and online self-help "centers" to assist the public with court
Oregon eCourt will not replace in-person services at our physical courthouses. Those traditional services will remain available. Court hearings and trials will continue to convene in courthouses across the state and will be open to the public.
Through the implementation of Oregon eCourt, the quality and timeliness of dispute resolution will improve, access to justice will expand for citizens, and collaboration between justice system partners will be more efficient and effective. The OJD will continue to work closely with the Legislative Assembly and other partners to create the tools necessary to meet the changing needs of Oregon's citizens and businesses, and to accomplish that vision transparently and cost effectively.
A vision draws from the human value in an organization's mission, and often describes the highest values that an organization hopes to reach. In implementing Oregon eCourt, we are taking action to move towards our vision: to be able to make meaningful human improvements in the communities we serve.