SAN FRANCISCO—At a special session today, the Judicial Council voted to stop deployment of the California Court Case Management System (CCMS) as a statewide solution for the case management needs of the trial courts. Instead, the council directed the council’s CCMS Internal Committee, in partnership with the trial courts, to develop timelines and recommendations to the Judicial Council to find other ways to use the CCMS technology and the state’s investment in the software system, as well as develop new strategies to assist courts with failing case management systems.
“What we do best in the judicial branch is to weigh the evidence and make reasoned and deliberate decisions,” said Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye. “The council’s decision to stop deployment of CCMS was responsible and prudent in view of our budget situation and the facts we gathered on the actual costs of deployment. CCMS works. Unfortunately, we don’t have the resources to deploy it.”
The council also directed the CCMS Internal Committee, in partnership with the trial courts, to develop timelines and recommendations to the Judicial Council for providing technology solutions to improve efficiencies in court operations by maximizing the value of document managements systems, e-filing capabilities, and e-delivery services for the benefit of litigants, attorneys, justice branch partners, and the public.
The committee also was directed to establish a technology governance structure to best serve the implementation of technology solutions, and develop alternatives for the Superior Court of San Luis Obispo and other trial courts that have failing case management systems and critical case management needs.
“We have to develop a new vision for our branch technology infrastructure given our fiscal climate,” said Judge James E. Herman, chair of the committee. “We are committed to implementing a cost-effective, efficient technology that serves the public, litigants, attorneys, and trial courts.”
According to a report by the independent auditing firm of Grant Thornton, LLP, estimates for deployment of CCMS V4 to 11 courts would be $343 million for one-time and supporting costs through fiscal year 2020-2021. To date, $333.3 million has been spent on the V3 and V4 software product the Judicial Council now owns.
In the current fiscal year, state funding of the trial courts was slashed by $350 million and another $310 million was swept from the courthouse construction fund to help balance the state’s General Fund. Since 2008-2009, state funding of the judicial branch has been cut by $653 million, leading to closures of courtrooms, reduced hours, and employee layoffs.
Originally conceived in 2001, CCMS was designed to provide the trial courts with a single, statewide case management system to replace 70 individual case systems in use among the California courts. The concept was to improve public safety and business efficiencies by enabling trial courts to exchange information with each other as well as other justice system partners, such as law enforcement and to improve service to attorneys and the public.
Interim systems provided case management for criminal and traffic cases (V2) followed by civil, small claims, probate and mental health cases (V3). V4 could handle all case types, provide for data exchange, and provide public access to cases across the state.
At the meeting, the council agreed to continue supporting the operation and maintenance of CCMS V2 and V3 already in use in seven trial courts: Fresno, Sacramento, Orange, Los Angeles, San Diego, Ventura, and San Joaquin. Twenty-five percent of all civil filings in the state are currently processed using CCMS V3.
The CCMS Internal Committee and the AOC also notified the Judicial Council that the cost reimbursement that was negotiated with Deloitte Consulting, LLP, the primary vendor used in the development of CCMS, following delays in the project, would be in the form of a payment of $16 million.