San Francisco—The Judicial Council today agreed to execute a letter of intent to explore the use of private grant money for help in deploying the California Court Case Management System (CCMS) to the Superior Courts of San Luis Obispo, Ventura, and Fresno Counties.
Once the letter of intent is signed by all the parties, the Administrative Office of the Courts, the State Bar of California, and the Chan Soon-Shiong Family Foundation will engage in a 12-week period of discussion, information exchange, and planning to determine if the parties wish to enter into a collaborative relationship to begin deploying CCMS and other technology-related activities. The foundation is headed by billionaire philanthropist Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong of Los Angeles, who is working on developing a health-care information grid.
First District Court of Appeal Justice Terence L. Bruiniers, head of the CCMS Executive Committee, said the offer by Dr. Soon-Shiong to provide funding and technological assistance “presents, in my view, a unique and historic opportunity that allows us to do significantly more in collaboration with a private nonprofit foundation and with the assistance and support of the State Bar.”
“A door has opened to us,” said Santa Barbara Superior Court Judge James E. Herman, a council member and head of a council internal committee overseeing CCMS, who noted the similarity between CCMS and Dr. Soon-Shiong’s vision of a health-care grid that will provide real-time information to doctors and patients. “That vision is parallel, and he is willing to put his money where his mouth is in order to help us to go forward with this effort.”
“I think the public in general wants government to be creative and innovative and think outside of the box particularly in these difficult times,” said council member and Presiding Judge David Rosenberg, Superior Court of Yolo County. “This …venture or partnership is definitely thinking outside . . . the box. It is creative. It is innovative.”
Two committees composed largely of judges recommended executing the letter of intent: the CCMS Executive Committee, headed by Justice Bruiniers and the CCMS Internal Committee headed by Judge Herman.
Development of CCMS was successfully completed in April and verified by two independent reviews (Final CCMS Application Assessment Report and Appraisal Report) in September. Deployment has been stalled because of cuts in state funding for the courts for fiscal year 2011–2012.
The Superior Courts of San Luis Obispo and Ventura Counties had previously been selected as two “early adopter” courts to demonstrate the functionality of CCMS operation in a broad range of court environments. Dr. Soon-Shiong has also informally offered his assistance in finding other funding sources to fully deploy CCMS to all 58 California trial courts.
According to a cost-benefit analysis conducted by Grant Thorton LLP, at least 47 of the state’s 58 trial courts will need to replace or upgrade their existing case management systems at a cost of $342 million.
CCMS includes electronic filing of documents, electronic calendars, self-service case inquiries and payments, and improved statistical reporting and scheduling of court reporters and interpreters. The system will also enable state agencies that partner with the courts—such as the state Department of Justice, the Department of Social Services, the Department of Child Support Services, and the Department of Motor Vehicles—to interact with a single case management system, thus improving efficiency, eliminating redundant data entry, and reducing system costs. The public and attorneys will have easier and faster access to case filings. It costs $315.5 million to develop CCMS over a 10-year-period.