Polk County completes digital documentation system

October 30, 2013

At the beginning of 2013, Polk County in Iowa decided to join the state's electronic database. Before this year, 35 other counties were actively using the system to simplify the daily workflow of court officials, attorneys and judges, according to the Des Moines Register.

Since the transition began, the community has implemented civil court and small claims and family law paperwork into the system's database management service. As a way to increase transparency, the local courthouse installed eight computers. In the past, court clerks would have to pull up a case's file for residents to access this information.

"Long-term going forward there's going to be some great benefits for our office and for the citizenry of Polk County also," Polk County Clerk of Courts Randy Osborn told the Register.

Despite all of these changes, county clerks patiently waited to get confirmation to roll out the criminal courts system. Since family law was rolled out in April, courts employees have anticipated the launch of the criminal system. Despite the six month wait, Polk county got their wish this week.

Now, everyone in the community will be able to look up information if a court lawyer charges a person with a crime or request a file that a judge is viewing. Across Iowa state, about 40 percent of court documentation is electronically available.

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