What is Oregon eCourt?
Oregon eCourt, a statewide web-based courthouse, will transform how Oregon’s court system serves the people of this state. Oregon eCourt will provide the technology to shift the present paper-based system to digital information and web-based services. Oregon eCourt technology will transform how private businesses, public agencies, and individuals obtain information and services from our courts. It will transform how judges and court staff are able to perform their work, and how consumers of judicial services are able to complete court business. Online availability of case documents 24 hours a day, 7 days a week will be a great improvement over the limits of a paper only system. Paper documents may not be available at the courthouse in a given eight hour business day if the case file is in use by someone else. Oregon eCourt will also provide online access to court information and will offer case-related document filing and payment services.
How will Oregon eCourt benefit citizens?
Oregon eCourt is a statewide virtual courthouse that uses technology to increase access to the courts, improve court efficiency, and ensure that judges have complete and timely information with which to make decisions. Oregon eCourt will provide standard technology in our courthouses, which will be integrated with other public safety agencies, to give judges and staff the information resources that they need to provide just, prompt, and safe resolution of disputes; improve public safety; enhance the quality of life in our communities; and make a difference in the lives of children and families in crisis.
Why is the State of Oregon investing money in Oregon eCourt?
The Oregon Judicial Department’s existing case and financial technology systems are over 20 years old. These systems do not meet the changing needs of the state courts, the public safety community, or the public, and are becoming increasingly difficult and expensive to support and maintain. With these technology limitations, judges often can’t access complete information to determine criminal history; pending charges or outstanding warrants; conditions of restraining orders; prior and pending evictions or small claims; and multiple judgments and collection activity.
How is Oregon eCourt funded?
The Oregon eCourt Program is funded almost entirely through financing from the sale of bonds called Certificates of Participation (COPs). These certificates are sold to investors who benefit by receiving COP debt re-payment that includes interest income, which is exempt from both federal and Oregon income tax.
Departments and agencies within the State of Oregon, upon approval by the Legislature and the Executive Branch, use COPs to finance capital investments such as construction, building retrofits, the purchase of major equipment, or as in the case of Oregon eCourt, development and implementation of major Information Technology projects needed for the delivery of public services.
Once the Legislature approves COP financing for a project, it outlines specific requirements that the project must meet both in terms of spending the funds and in the results produced by the funding. This process is designed to ensure that COP funding adheres to the certificate terms, remains closely monitored, and that the progress of the project is reviewed by the Legislature. Further COP funding is often determined by the ability of the project to reasonably complete legislative requirements.
COP funding for the Oregon eCourt Program can only be applied to the series of planned projects and activities that have been approved by the Legislature for Oregon eCourt. It cannot be used for other departmental operations or for operation of Oregon eCourt components that are already in place.