Clerks of Circuit Court
IMAGING and RECORD STANDARDS MANUAL
Created by the Indiana Clerk’s Association in conjunction with Indiana State Court Administration
The purpose of this manual is to assist the Clerk in the detailed mechanics and workflow processes when implementing an Imaging System to meet the requirements of the Supreme Court’s Administrative Rule 6. This document takes into consideration that the clerk may either decide to purchase hardware and software to perform this function within their office or outsource this process to a qualified vendor.
Before any system is to be purchased or service is engaged in, an Imaging System Certification must be completed and approved by the Indiana Supreme Court. It also must be noted that all liability for product(s) delivered or contracted for is the sole responsibility of the individual county. It is expressly advised that before an entity engages in contract negotiations or equipment purchase that there is a clear understanding of all expectations of the system and software.
When a Clerk chooses an imaging program, the goal is to scan court records from paper (original form) to what is called a digital medium. Once converted, records can be saved to a Storage Area Network or SAN for retrieval at an individual desktop computer. When using this as an archival tool, records can then be indexed and transferred over to microfilm for permanent retention. It must be noted here that all of the rules associated with this process are specifically outlined under Trial Rule 77(J) and as set forth in Administrative Rule 6.
The records to be scanned and converted to microfilm may include all active, inactive and still to be created records including case files and documentation permissible by Administrative Rule. Disposition of original hard copies is to be in accordance with both Administrative Rule 7 as well as local court weeding policies. The Clerk should always follow the procedures set forth by Administrative Rules 6, 7, and 9 when selecting records for scanning, preparing records for scanning and conversion to microfilm, and when testing microfilm for standards.
The final result will be to obtain images that are easily retrievable by an end-user to assist in the daily performance of duties as well as meeting Indiana Supreme Court administrative retention schedule rules. This process recognizes that each county will continue to follow strict guidelines to ensure information will be converted to microfilm where applicable. This document acknowledges that each county is unique in its ability to move forward in the area of technology and therefore illustrates, and within specific circumstances, that a county may either internally perform these functions or that they may be outsourced.
This manual describes both uniform and unique policies and procedures for the imaging of court records. Core standards and procedures apply whether or not one is scanning active, closed, or permanent records. However, procedures unique to these different categories also must be addressed. For example, a weeding policy applies only to closed case files and not to active or re-docketed case files. An enhanced preparation procedure and auditing procedure is required for scanning permanent records, like the CCS and the RJO. The scanning of active case files will not incorporate targets while targets will be required for closed case files and CCS and RJO records.
Keep in mind that though this manual exists, questions may arise from time to time that are unique in nature. With that in mind, a call to the Division of State Court Administration may be in order. In no way does this manual supersede rules that are set forth in Administrative Rules, rather the goal is to lay out the “whys” and “what for’s” and “definitions of” as you go through this process.
The manual is divided into sections that will assist clerks in finding information easier. The following list of terms and concepts follows: Court Records (types), Software and Hardware Standards, Auditing of the Scanning Process, Work Flow, Tracking Imaging Process (Spreadsheet), Maintenance, Documentation, Permanency Requirements, Weeding Policy (for Closed Case Files Only), Microfilm Verification Process, State Court Administration approval standards and process. In addition, examples of forms as well as court rules are furnished in the appendix portion of this document.
The members of the Clerk of the Circuit Court Records Management Committee extend their sincere appreciation to all of the individuals who assisted in the creation of this manual. The committee expressly extends their appreciation to Therese Brown, Clerk of the Allen Circuit Court, and to John Newman of Indiana’s Division of State Court Administration for facilitating this document through the approval process. Without their contributions, this manual would not have been possible.