How Wichita Falls Manages Municipal Court Files with Laserfiche

It’s clear to see Municipal Courts needed a way to lessen the amount of paper they were generating as well as streamline some of their labor intensive business processes.

The Problem

The City of Wichita Falls had several legacy systems in place that were outdated, no longer supported and that did not offer enterprise content management functionality. In addition their business processes were rapidly changing and they needed to ensure the business systems in place were able to support these changes.

"This saves us time, money and in the process we have become less dependent upon paper."

The Solution

The City released a RFP in 2009 looking for an enterprise-wide content management system and Laserfiche was ultimately chosen to be implemented by MCCi. Patrick Gray, Database Applications Analyst comments, “We chose Laserfiche primarily because their reseller MCCi specialized in government municipalities and they guided us in the direction that other city/county governments were using for content management.” The implementation of Laserfiche would provide the City with the opportunity to manage their records in compliance with the Texas State Laws and move closer to being a “paper-less” business.

One of the first departments to implement the Laserfiche solution would be the Municipal Courts Department. Municipal Courts is one of the most paper intensive departments due to the types of records they are responsible for processing and managing. The City of Wichita Falls estimated the department generated over 3000 pages a month, all of which had to be retained for five years according to Texas State Laws. That means at any given time they were retaining 5 years’ worth of records equating to about 180,000 pages of documents sitting in filing cabinets and taking up valuable office space.

It’s clear to see Municipal Courts needed a way to lessen the amount of paper they were generating as well as streamline some of their labor intensive business processes. While many Court based applications come with document imaging components that allow documents to be stored electronically, they are missing key modules needed for true Business Process and Records Management capabilities.

For this reason the Municipal Courts chose Laserfiche to help facilitate these needs. Laserfiche’s easy to use interface along with its ability to integrate with their Case Management System provided them a way to automate their processes as well as allowing them to adhere to the records management laws set forth by the State of Texas.

Prior to implementing Laserfiche court staff members were printing documents from their Case Management system, creating hard copy files that were then processed manually and stored in an active filing cabinet until the case was closed. Once the case was closed it was moved to another filing cabinet for 5 year archival. Now with Laserfiche this process is handled electronically, eliminating the need for printing and manually filing and archiving records. Within Laserfiche a folder structure was created that mimicked their existing hard copy filing methods.

The integration with their Case Management system allows them to automatically import documents into Laserfiche without the need to print. As documents are entered, Workflow identifies the documents and then routes and renames them based on predefined criteria. Documents are first routed to the “Active Case Files” folder where a Case ID file is created and documents within the file are automatically renamed and placed in the appropriate year directory as template metadata is entered by staff members. Additional workflows are triggered by updating the document’s template fields when additional action is required by staff members.

For example, if a Case File needs to be reviewed by the Judge, a template field is updated, which triggers Laserfiche to move the documents to a “Review” folder and notifies the Judge through an email notification that a document requires his/her attention. Patrick Gray, Database Applications Analyst comments, “Laserfiche allows us to scan and store our tickets and various documents for virtual real time retrieval by the Court Employees. This saves us time, money and in the process we have become less dependent upon paper”.

In addition to being used in the Courts Department, the City has also implemented Laserfiche in several other departments including the City Secretary’s office, Vitals, Human Resources, and Finance. They have plans on the horizon to eventually roll out Laserfiche to every other department and integrate it with other key applications used in those departments.

The City of Wichita Falls is able to quantify their success of their Laserfiche implementation by their reduction in paper usage, automating key business processes and an overall increase to access the records. The fact that staff was fully engaged in the Laserfiche implementation played a big part in their project success. Staff members fully embraced the new technology and new way of doing business that Laserfiche has provided.

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