Jacob's Plan - Modernization

As the only candidate in this race who has practiced in the Cook County court system for his entire career, Meister knows that the technology used in the Cook County courts is antiquated and severely lags behind many courts, including the federal courts, DuPage County and courts around the country.  Cook County needs to modernize its technology and court operations in order to increase productivity for all users of the courts:  

Eliminate Paper.  

The Clerk’s office must move from a paper-based to a digital system.  All active files stored in the county records center should be digitized and incorporated into a new case management system and the current system which is based on judges and lawyers writing orders by hand in triplicate will be replaced by a “minute order” system, with the vast majority of orders being recorded electronically in real-time by trained courtroom personnel.  

Implement Digital Case Management.

A fully digital case management system is the lifeblood of every modern court system and Cook County lags far behind court systems around the country.  All case information and documents should be digitized and available online in realtime. Recent attempts to implement a new case management system in the criminal division has been a failure — essential information is often incorrect or unavailable and users have not been properly trained — and, as a result, the rollout in other divisions has been wisely postponed.  The County’s investment in this new system is in jeopardy unless the next clerk is able to fix it. Meister will implement vigorous training for all users, including Judges, Clerk’s staff and attorneys so that the benefits of the new case management system can be realized. In addition, the new case management system must be further customized to meet the specific workflow of each operating division so that the case management system helps create efficiency and transparency.   

Integrate Technology.

Meister will also push to implement an Integrated Justice Information System (IJIS) and ensure that the Court’s computers integrate with all stakeholders in the justice system, including all municipalities in the County, the Sheriff, State’s Attorney, Public Defender, Department of Corrections, private attorneys, and others who rely on timely and accurate information from our court system. Capital investment in a countywide IJIS will ultimately achieve significant savings both at the county and municipal levels and will ensure errors are minimized. 

Digital Ticketing.

Meister will implement an electronic ticketing system that can be installed in every police car in the county so that moving violations are automated and printed at the time the ticket is written.  Currently, police officers making traffic stops in the county’s 135 municipalities handwrite approximately 450,000 traffic violation tickets (in quadruplicate) every year. Once written, the tickets are manually entered into the municipal computer system, physically transmitted to the clerk’s office, and again manually entered into the clerk’s traffic court system.  The paper ticket then becomes a physical court file that is maintained in the clerk’s file warehouse. The cost to equip police cars with electronic ticketing hardware is approximately $1500 per car and will cut traffic stop times in half and greatly reduce the costs and errors associated with manually entering information and maintaining paper files. 

Online Dispute Resolution

Meister is dedicated to radically expanding access to our justice system, and making use of technology to improve efficiency in resolving disputes.  Every smartphone should be a point of access to justice—the courthouse of tomorrow. Working with the judiciary, Meister will implement a state of the art online dispute resolution (ODR) system that will allow civil litigants (particularly in small claims) to electronically mediate cases, before the case proceeds to a full-blown court trial. Meister believes that ODR, which has been successfully implemented in civil cases, presents a great opportunity to resolve disputes quickly, improve case outcomes and ease the burdens on our court system.

Modernization

Meister knows that the technology used in the Cook County courts is antiquated and severely lags behind many courts. Cook County needs to modernize its technology and court operations in order to increase productivity for all users of the courts. LEARN MORE…

Customer Service

Meister is dedicated to treating the users of the courts — the public, lawyers and judges —  as valued customers. On day one, he will name a Chief Customer Service Officer (CCSO) who will be responsible for making the Clerk’s office user-friendly and efficient. LEARN MORE…

Transparency

Operational problems cannot be resolved without fixing the myriad of ethical issues. Under Meister’s leadership, the Clerk’s office will increase transparency with a real plan that focuses on Access to Information and EthicsLEARN MORE…

Access To Justice

Meister will make Access to Justice a priority from day one. Making our our court system easier to access and navigate, expanding community outreach, working with social services and partnering with libraries. LEARN MORE…

Friends for Jacob Meister

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