Friday, June 26, 2009

County Launches Towards the Future with E-Filing

Guarantees of Financial Savings, Increased Efficiency and Production

The process of filing new child support claims in Fulton County has been upgraded as the Fulton County Superior Court and the Fulton County Office of Child Support Services have begun using the Georgia Department of Human Resources and the Administrative Office of the Court’s electronic filing system.
Fulton Superior Court joins an ever growing list of courts that have converted to electronically filing their new child support cases and claims, adding the largest county in Georgia as well as the largest in child support case claims to the increasingly popular filing system.
The Georgia DHR funded development of the Electronic Filing of Court Documents program, also referred to as the Georgia Judicial Exchange (GAJE), in response to the increasing number of child support claims across Georgia in an effort to improve delivery of service and reduce cost. It is administered and maintained by the AOC. The program is specifically for child support cases, which make up over 50 percent of most civil cases statewide and could potentially be used for other case types in the future.
Vince Harris, Associate Director at the AOC and head of the Information Technologies Division that oversees GAJE, believes bringing Fulton County onto the state's e-filing system will show other counties and child support offices in Georgia the benefits of the system.
“It’s a huge success for the clerk’s office, for the child support office and for the AOC (the cooperation of e-filing). It will certainly help put it (GAJE) on the map,” says Harris.
Through e-filing, the Fulton County OCSS, which currently processes in excess of 30,000 child support claims a year, will now be able to offer more efficient filing of important documents as well as increase production of its case loads a streamlined system that allows every step of submitting a new case to be done electronically instead of manually.
Bobbie Hilbun, Regional Manager over the Fulton County OCSS, was a leading advocate for bringing e-filing to Fulton because of the potential savings in personnel hours.
“The time saving is the number#1 reason I wanted to bring e-filing to Fulton, which is the largest legal filing office in the region…the legal secretaries now are able to pull petitions more quickly and move them to the attorney who in turn moves them to the (court) clerk, all from the computer where with manual (filing) it was a longer series of steps,” says Hilbun.
Chief Assistant District Attorney over the Child Support Unit, Regina Mincey, has experienced noticeable benefits from the new e-filing system.
“Due to the volume (of new child support cases and claims), e-filing helps with the efficiency of processing claims as well as it frees up other functions of OCSS to collect payments,” says Mincey.
With the OCSS’s more timely electronic delivery of cases to Fulton County Superior Court instead of manual deliveries, increased and faster service on issued claims is achieved as well as resolutions for the cases and their participants.
E-filing saves money for all parties involved through eliminating the need for multiple physical storage locations of papers and documents vital to any given case and the cost of maintaining such places, in addition to personnel hours used in transport of documents. It also cuts back on human error and saves time on corrections of documents that could otherwise hold up the process of having the case filed.
“The court and the OCSS will now be more efficient, timely and better able to provide more concern and time to those that use the OCSS’s services. Taxpayers can also feel better in knowing that this new system saves money and that different state agencies are working together to bring an improved quality of customer care,” says Harris.
The GAJE e-filing program started in 2007 with pilot launches in Bibb and Washington counties and has since been picked up by Chatham, Douglas, Jefferson and Oglethorpe due to its proven track record of increasing the efficiency and timeliness of child support case claims.
If you would like more information about E-Filing, contact Vince Harris. In order to schedule an interview with Mr. Harris, please contact Mrs. Ann Batchan at 404-656-5169 or

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