e-Courts Automation

Administrative Office of the Courts
Phone: 919-890-1400
E-mail: Jeff.Marecic@nccourts.org

Jeff Marecic the new Chief Information Officer for the Administrative Office of the Courts, gave the CJIN Board an overview of the stragetic plan that will be implimented for technology within the AOC. He presented the Board with a modified variation of the same presentation that was submitted to the Joint Justice and Public Safety Appropriations Subcommittee to the General Assembly. That presentation can be found here.


Administrative Office of the Courts, Magistrate Video Project

Administrative Office of the Courts
Phone: 919-890-1400
E-mail: Basil.McVey@nccourts.org


The Magistrate Video Project (MVP) seeks to use video technology to ease the very practical burdens on the state’s criminal justice system (lower expenses, greater efficiency, improved resourcefulness, improved responsiveness and increased flexibility); MVP utilizes current laws and four critical technology components to enable magistrates and law enforcement officers to perform several court functions “across the wire.” 1. General Statutes 15A-303, 15A-304, 15A-511, and 15A-532, 2. NCAWARE, 3. A secure, purpose-built video phone, 4. NCAOC’s voice and video infrastructure, 5. The Internet; deployed in the following counties: Alexander, Cherokee, Currituck, Davidson, Franklin, Jackson, Macon, Stokes and Surry; with the number of instances used at: Alexander - 31, Cherokee - 145, Davidson - 184, Franklin - 19, Jackson - 79, Macon - 15, Stokes - 93 and Surry - 161, the average call is between 6 and 9 minutes.

The powerpoint can be viewed here.

Electronic Discovery

Albert Williams, Assistant District Attorney, Judicial District 28
Phone: 828-232-2500
E-mail: Albert.L.Williams@nccourts.org

Administrative Office of the Courts
Phone: 919-890-1000
E-mail: researchplanning@nccourts.org

The CJIN Board has discussed this project and numerous components that impact the successful outcome, including next generation 911 (text and video, how to incorporate these items into the chain of evidence), Basil McVey relayed to the Board that Rollout to the District Attorneys was on October 10th, with 40,000 Case folders, 155,000 documents, and 16 Million pages of data, additional storage space had to be purchased to accommodate the information at 80 to 100 GB per month, Defense Attorney Download Pilot was finished in June, 2011, this allows for release of discovery document electronically. There at 18 districts involved and this is for Law Enforcement documents to the AOC, Al Williams stated he was very pleased with the pace that AOC was able to keep for accommodating the members, Basil also stated that there was a 1 GB storage limit as of today, and that might change in the future.

Electronic Discovery Project - Evidence Numbering

Chairman Brinson introduced Ginger Helms, AOC Program Manager who provided the Board with a presentation of the Electronic Discovery Project. The presentation included the Discovery Automation Process with the benefits to the users, as well as some of the features that the system offers. There were numerous screen shots of the system in action to allow for a more detailed understanding of the look and feel of the system. Ginger also offered the Board a timeline for the various releases of the system and a chart of the constituents that are served by the system. This presentation led to a discussion regarding the Evidence Numbers by the SBI crime lab and the planned revisions to the procedures.


Click here for the DAS Fact Sheet.

DNA Law and Challenges, General Discussion

Albert Williams, Senior ADA, Judicial District 28, Buncombe County
Phone: 828-232-2500
E-mail: Albert.L.Williams@nccourts.org

Al Williams, Senior ADA, Buncombe County, who gave the Board an overview of his concerns regarding the new DNA law. Al stated that the legislature passed this new DNA law that allows for a suspect's DNA to be gathered at the time of arrest, for certain offenses; the statue is in the folder for a list of specific crimes. The DA's Office has some concerns regarding the portion of the law that states, if the suspect is found not guilty, pleas to a lesser crime, etc., the DNA has to be expunged from his record. The SBI received seven new positions through this law, but no other agency did. The wording of the law states that the DA is responsible for ensuring that the sample of DNA has been destroyed and expunged from the database, but there is nothing in the law that has a mechanism for letting the District Attorney's office even know if DNA was taken.

AOC has given the District Attorney's some support in building a program that would allow for some notification when DNA is taken, but there are so many variables that are involved that a program needs to address all the issues and circumstances that would require that DNA be expunged from the database. The example that Al gave the Board, is that a suspect is charged with a burglary, arson and a rape, all at one time, in one incident, they are fingerprinted, and the DNA swab is taken at the time of the arrest. The case is heard for probable case and the DA decides that the crime occurred at 5:00PM and the DA doesn't think he can prove burglary, that charge gets dropped, and the arson and rape are sent to the Superior Court to be heard by the Grand Jury. With the program that the AOC is developing for the District Attorney's it will let them know that there is a burglary charge that DNA was swabbed on and it needs to be destroyed, but it doesn't take into account that there are two more charges of arson and rape also associated with this incident. So this leads to huge amounts of manpower needed to confirm with the SBI that the DNA has been expunged and or destroyed. But the law in NC also states that if you are charged with any felony and convicted, the DNA is stored indefinitely. Al stated that this isn't a problem that is solvable by technology, so the District Attorney's are going to be contacting the legislature regarding their concerns and hopefully come to an understanding regarding the wording of the statute in order to perhaps put the burden of expungement verification on the defendant and not the DA; the defendant does it in other states. Al wanted to notify the Board so that if there is additional support needed in the General Assembly to move forward with some changes, the Board will be apprised of the issues and concerns before that happens.

DNA House Bill 1403

Letter to the District Attorney’s Conference

DNA Expunction Summary

Other States Laws Dealing with DNA Expungement

Administrative Office of the Courts, NCAWARE

Administrative Office of the Courts
Phone: 919-890-1000
E-mail: researchplanning@nccourts.org

The state of North Carolina lacks a complete and effective statewide repository of criminal processes, including warrants and orders for arrest. Several counties maintain their own local repository. Some use a manual process, such as a collection of the paper warrants in a central location. Others are automated. The NCAWARE system provides an automated, web-based statewide warrant repository to maintain and track criminal processes and offender information. A primary goal of this project has been the migration of the existing Magistrate System from a client-server platform to a web browser-based environment, providing secure, broad access to all of the criminal justice and law enforcement communities. Initially the system will be populated by data from both the existing Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) Magistrate System and the Automated Criminal Infraction System (ACIS). The completion of the NCAWARE system provides increased compliance with AOC's new technical architecture and completes a significant part of the many modules that together will make up the AOC's modernized Court Information System (CIS). The goals of the NCAWARE system are to

  • provide an automated statewide warrant repository to maintain and track criminal processes and offender information
  • provide system access to all North Carolina court officials and law enforcement agencies
  • move the AOC Magistrate System from client-server platform to a web browser-based environment
  • convert existing Magistrate System data and outstanding processes in ACIS to NCAWARE

NCAWARE Update from March 24, 2011 CJIN Meeting

Discussions have taken place regarding electronically interfacing NCAWARE system to the Local Law Enforcement RMS; Basil McVey related to the Board that as of November there will be a nightly download available to all law enforcement that will download into their specific Record Management System; AOC has been working with several vendors and agencies in a pilot mode, this is not an automatic update, it does require logging into a secure site in order to download the information, however AOC is more than willing to work with any Vendor to develop an automated download of the data nightly. Stephanie Taborn is the contact for this initiative. ACIS has been updated to put paper Orders For Arrests to Electronic form this has been accomplished through GCC Grants to hire retired staff to work part-time and they are converting about 3,000 documents a month, there is also the ability for Criminal Justice Personnel to lookup an Officer's Court Date though ACIS, Dennis Bandiero is the contact for this initiative, and there is a provisional license for NCAWARE with the Magistrates participation by January. AOC is working on additional initiatives that give the largest return for the lowest resources for right now, but are more than willing to discuss enhancements to NCAWARE from anyone. AOC is also working with DOJ to help interface NCAWARE and NCIC so that duplicate data entry isn't necessary.

NCAWARE Interface to RMS Vendors Update, February 23, 2012

Basil McVey with the AOC provided the Board with an update on the RMS Vendor interface, including the operationally nightly Local Law Enforcement update available to any RMS Vendor, the vendors can contact Stephanie Taborn at the AOC for access to this nightly update, the AOC has distributed announcements that got to most of the vendors, but if anyone needs this update, please contact Stephanie at the AOC, the nightly update was to eliminate the need for doing double entry into both the RMS system and the NCAWARE system, the goal is to eventually be real-time or near real-time with this data entry, Basil stated that AOC is working with Charlotte and Buncombe counties on an interface implementation this year, and until they get these two counties are operational, then the other projects will need to be put on hold.


More information can be found at http://www.nccourts.org/news/NCAWAREfacts.asp