Fresno County Superior Court staff were busy last week, getting ready for the launch a new case management system that will allow the public to search for documents on a home computer for free and print court documents without having to pay a fee.
The Odyssey system will be a one-stop search engine for all types of cases — from family law to criminal to probate to civil. It replaces two outdated systems — Banner for civil cases and V2 for criminal cases.
Court spokeswoman Sherry Spears said the new system will save taxpayers about $13.5 million over the next five years.
In all, about 4.4 million adult and juvenile cases (with original case numbers) will be in the Odyssey system once it goes online to the public on Monday, Spears said, noting that Merced, Kings and San Luis Obispo counties use the Odyssey system.
Banner, which was implemented in 2001, and V2, which went online in July 2006, has been costing the courts about $3.7 million annually to maintain. To launch Odyssey and maintain it over a five-year period will cost less than $5 million, Spears said.
To facilitate this large data conversion, the last case updated in the Banner system was on March 30. That means getting updated information on Banner from home or from public terminals in the courthouses will not be available this week, Spears said. Updated case information is still be available at the public counters in the courthouses, she said.
The public could only access V2 system from the courthouses or at the county archives building on E Street. V2 will be decommissioned in late June, Spears said.
Once the Odyssey system goes online Monday, it will have every case that was in V2 and Banner, Spears said.
The public can get case information from a search portal that will be accessible through a link on the court’s website and through the public-use terminals at the courthouses, Spears said. The court also will have an e-payment option on the Odyssey portal, which will allow court users to pay their traffic citations online. In addition, the electronic court calendars will resume operation at the Sisk courthouse on Monday.
To protect the public’s right to privacy, documents containing highly sensitive information that could lead to identity theft or compromise a person’s safety, as well as records protected by laws, will not be accessible to the public on personal computer systems, Spears said.
Odyssey should be compatible with many browsers, Spears said, noting that detailed information about specific browser compatibility will be posted on the court’s website.
Spears said the new system does not require a log in or password. Registration, however, will be required for members of agencies such as the Public Defender’s Office, probation and the District Attorney’s Office, which are authorized to receive specific case documents.
Fresno Superior Court Presiding Judge Jonathan Conklin said the new system will make it convenient for the public as well as law enforcement agencies.
“For the first time, organizations that frequently conduct business with the court will be able to use the case search portal to sign in, look for the case documents they are approved to access and print them immediately at no cost,” Conklin said. “Additionally, members of the public will be able to use the search portal to locate and copy non-restricted documents at no cost using their own computer and printer.”
To assist with the transition, Conklin said the court has been conducting outreach to the law enforcement agencies. These efforts will continue after the Odyssey system is launched.
More information on Odyssey will be available through the court’s website or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.