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Delaware Docket Newsletter
Winter 2006


Photo of JP Court #12
JUSTICE OF THE PEACE COURT 12 on the first day of COTS implementation—relatively smooth operations resulted from hard work by the JP Court staff, with extra help from members of the COTS team.

The first phase of implementation of a new case management system for the Delaware courts was completed on November 1 with the successful initiation of civil case management functions in three Justice of the Peace Courts - Courts 17 and 19 in Sussex County and Court 12 in New Castle County.  Thanks to the hard work and dedication of team members from all the courts, the first phase of implementation went smoothly and the Justice of the Peace Court staff was able to make the transition to the new system with minimal disruption.  Chief Magistrate Alan Davis complimented his court staff.  “They should be congratulated for their dedicated efforts in training and their willingness to be a part of these pioneering steps in the COTS project.”

The new system known as COTS (Courts Organized to Serve) is expected to be one of the most comprehensive case management systems in the country.  When fully implemented, it will provide for web and telephone access to provide better service to court customers; e-filing will be available in all courts; document imaging will make access to case records easier; and enhanced interfaces will provide timely information to the courts’ justice partners.  In addition, the courts have been working to streamline their processes and develop greater uniformity of practice across courts.  “Everyone involved has consistently placed the need to better serve the citizens of our state ahead of individual court needs,” said Chief Justice Myron T. Steele.

Phase 2, expected in the spring of 2007, will extend civil implementation to the remaining Justice of the Peace Civil Courts.  Subsequent phases bring the new case management system for civil case processing to other courts and add criminal case processing and related interfaces.  Additional components improving functionality will come with each phase. 

Most system functionality will be in place by 2009 with full implementation expected in 2010.  However, the November 1 implementation of the first phase was a significant accomplishment in that the technological infrastructure for the project is now in place and operational.  “This first implementation is but one of many milestones to come,” said Chief Justice Steele.  “I have no doubt that the spirit of cooperation and dedication exhibited to date will serve us well as we go forward.”

The court system has been assisted in this effort by partner agencies, which have provided support and expertise.  The project has been funded by the Delaware General Assembly and supplemented by federal funds.