ZANESVILLE, Ohio – The Zanesville Municipal Court is up to date after a year and a half of scanning every file they have into a digital format.
By law the court has to keep court records anywhere from 5 years to forever depending on the case and due to that they were running out of space. The court had multiple storage sites in different buildings and it got to the point that they had to either build a new building for the Zanesville Municipal Court or find other means of storage.
According to Judge Bill Joseph, this is when Clerk, Vicky Kirk decided to start having the records scanned. In July 2015 ScanWorks LLC started scanning all the court records from 1965 to present. There were a total of 65,814 files scanned and finished in January 2017.
Judge Joseph said previously when individuals needed a copy of their record the office clerks would have to find the location of the record, climb a ladder and pull out that file, bring it to the court, print a copy off, and return the file after the copy was made.
“Now all they have to do is type in a case number,” Judge Joseph said. “Immediately that file comes up, we find the document we want, we print it out, and hand it to you in 30 seconds. So it’s very convenient for the public, very convenient for us and it’s allowed us to use our man power much more efficiently.”
The court had nearly 1 million pages scanned and all the files are now backed up with a secured server off site.
The courtroom was also remodeled. The Zanesville Municipal Court room was constructed in 1965 and had never been remodeled before this year. The court room has a new vinyl flooring that will be easier to maintain and the furniture had been upholstered.
Another upgrade in the court room was new camera and audio systems for their Video Arraignment System.
“We have a video arraignment system which means anybody that’s in jail that has to appear in court,” Judge Joseph said. “Instead of having to handcuff them, shackle them, have police officers bring them into the court room. We do that through a video up in the jail and Judge Howard Zwelling started that about 20 years ago.”
The funding for these upgrades did not come from the public. Judge Joseph explained each case has a court cost associated with it and from their the money is allocated toward different funds including the special projects fund and the computer fund. The courtroom remodeling and the Scanning upgrade came from the Special Projects fund and the Video Arraignment upgrades came from the Computer fund.