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Court clerks support putting records online

BY ANDREA MOORE amoore@paducahsun.com

Court officials throughout western Kentucky are supporting Kentucky Supreme Court Justice Michelle Keller's statewide effort to make court records digital and accessible to the public online.

Keller is chairwoman of the courts' Technology Governance Committee and over the past 10 years has overseen e-filing in civil cases throughout northern Kentucky.  

According to McCracken Circuit Clerk Glenda Ransom, making court records digital will save her office a lot of extra work.

"I feel like court files becoming digital and available online will be beneficial in the long run because it will take a lot of excessive work off of my deputies," Ransom said. "There will still be paperwork that we will have to process, but quite a bit of it can come through the e-filing system."

"It will also cut down on the amount of phone calls we receive because the public will be able to access the information online," Ransom added.  

Ballard Circuit Clerk Holly Dunker also believes going digital is a positive move, one that is cost effective and will not hurt jobs.  

"It will save the courts money, the attorneys money and everyone involved in the court system," Dunker said.

"I do not believe having digital records will affect any jobs at my office because our clerks are involved in so many different areas that this system will take pressure off of their workload."  

Paducah attorney Wes Sullenger also supports the digital conversion. He is concerned, however, about the design of the system and how it will process so many types of cases.

"I practice in federal court, and I am actually filing documents electronically right at this moment," Sullenger said. "However, state court is very different than federal, and the system will have to be more complex to process the different types of cases that state courts handle and be time effective."

Keller has said the goal is to get all 120 counties and all cases operating on a single electronic system by 2015.

Contact Andrea Moore, a Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8684.

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