Meigs Courts receive nearly $300k in tech grants

Staff Report

MEIGS COUNTY — Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor announced this week that 54 local court projects are receiving more than $3.2 million in this year’s technology grant funding through the Ohio Supreme Court.

Among those receiving funds are Meigs County Court, Meigs Common Pleas Court and the Clerk of Courts office.

Meigs County Court is to receive $217,733.90 to upgrade the court’s existing case management system. The awards is the second largest amount awarded according to the information provided by the Ohio Supreme Court, with only Wyandot County Common Pleas Court receiving more funding.

In addition, the Meigs County Common Pleas Court, Clerk of Courts office, received $53,972 to upgrade the court’s existing case management system.

The Meigs County Common Pleas Court, general and domestic relations division, also received $24,929.93 to upgrade systems that support case management.

Case management upgrades and security improvements are among the local technology projects selected to receive funding through the Ohio Courts Technology Initiative.

This is the sixth year of disbursements since Chief Justice O’Connor initiated the program, with just over $17 million being received by courts across Ohio.

Ohio appeals, common pleas, municipal, and county courts are encouraged each year to apply for grants to upgrade systems, hardware or equipment, or purchase new ones.

The projects selected for funding were scored by a 27-member panel of judges, court administrators, clerks, information technology professionals, security experts, and other personnel from local courts across the state.

“Lack of up-to-date technology can hinder the effective administration of justice,” Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor said. “This year, the needs of some courts are basic while others leap into information technology, communications upgrades, and case management efficiency.”

“Simply put, courts today are forced to do more and more, and technology can answer those challenges,” the chief justice said. “Also, tech upgrades can save money in the long run and that’s helpful because financial challenges are inherent in operating a court.”

For this sixth annual round of funding, preference was given to projects in this order of priority:

  • Upgrade of an existing case management system to improve case flow
  • Upgrade, replacement, or purchase of other technology systems that affect case flow or the fundamental duties of a court
  • Upgrade, replacement, or improvement of computer hardware or equipment that supports the case management system or other systems that affect case flow or the fundamental duties of a court
  • Upgrade, replace, and purchase technology systems that support pretrial services
  • Purchase of any other computer hardware, software or equipment, including projects related to physical security of the court.

A portion of the funds were set aside to fund courtroom or related building security upgrades or equipment installations.

The Ohio Courts Technology Initiative was established to improve the exchange of information and warehousing of data by and between Ohio courts and other justice system partners, an endeavor that includes the Ohio Courts Network.

Including this year, the technology grants from the Supreme Court have helped fund more than 450 projects in Ohio.

Court News Ohio writer Anne Yeager and The Daily Sentinel Managing Editor Sarah Hawley contributed to this report.

Staff Report