From the bench: Some things are worth waiting for

Shortly after taking office in 2011, I started hearing about a new case management system that the Arizona Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) was planning to unveil for the courts across the state. The new system, known as AJACS, (Arizona Judicial Automated Case Management System) promised to bring significant improvements to the courts by replacing the old system in use for many years. It seemed that although the new system was coming soon to our court, it was always just out of reach and being moved further and further out from the tentative dates previously scheduled for installation and implementation. But some things are worth waiting for.

With the rollout of AJACS at our court in August, the transition was, and still is quite challenging to say the least, but we are able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Several of the most impactful improvements include automatic text messaging reminders for court dates, similar to those that dental offices use to remind patients of a dental appointment. The new system is also much more capable at automating labor intensive tasks, and will allow us to transition in the next few years to a paperless court. Although a court will always need and use paper for some of our functions, the approximately 6,000 cases a year in the Williams Justice and City Courts, which are currently managed with paper files, will be entered, stored, tracked, and managed electronically. That change will only continue to help our staff improve our courts’ efficiencies and customer service even more.

We also welcomed Justice Court Specialist Jennifer Cox and Bailiff Greg King to our staff this fall. Jennifer has worked as a temporary employee in our court for quite some time, and recently obtained a permanent position with us. Bailiff Greg King, who retired after a long career with the Arizona Department of Public Safety, has joined our team to help fill in as needed with security and other bailiff duties. Having these two join our team was definitely worth waiting for.

We look forward to serving you into the future and appreciate the support you have given us this past year.

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