The Sonoma County Superior Court has now completed its fourth week “live” on a new case management system; Odyssey by Tyler Technologies. This has been a three year project working together to transition from a thirty year old legacy system, IJS, which was maintained by the Sonoma County Information Systems Division. Breaking away from the original system has made this transition to a new system more challenging, hence the long project timeline.  Tyler’s Odyssey has been successfully implemented in 23 counties in California. Tyler has also implemented the same software in more than 200 courts in the United States in the past few years.

Sonoma Court’s current level of minute entry backlogs is not unique in these circumstances with the launching of a new system. Both the Court and Tyler continue to work closely together to solve these issues as they are uncovered.

The Odyssey program accepts more data and therefore requires more detailed entries into the system. Court staff is continuing to master and become familiar with this system. We have determined that it is requiring more staff to process the necessary data. While the entry of the official court minutes into the Odyssey program may be temporarily delayed, the original written court minutes taken in the courtroom continue to be produced and distributed to the jail, defendant and/or defense counsel and the district attorney daily. The Court’s goal is to ultimately provide automated minutes daily.

Regarding the recent media reporting of cases where defendants are spending time in jail beyond their sentencing release dates, the Court has yet to find an error in any case directly related to the new case management system. As reported in the Press Democrat on September 15, 2017, the case involving defendant Steven Suits and his incarceration in the Sonoma County Jail, was not the result of any error involving the Odyssey system. On June 21, 2017, prior to the implementation of Odyssey, Mr. Suits was sentenced to 200 days in jail for his convictions on four separate cases involving drugs and weapons charges.

On Friday, September 8, 2017, the Public Defender’s Office who originally represented Mr. Suits, inadvertently calendared in court only two of his four cases to address his custodial status. When addressed in court on September 12, 2017, the Judge addressed his release only on those two calendared cases. When it was later determined that he had an additional two cases in which he was still in custody serving his sentence, those were addressed by the court on September 13, 2017. Any error was not a result of the Odyssey case management system.

The Court continues to work closely with our justice partners on any issues that may arise. We look forward to the continued implementation of this modern system to enhance services for both the public and our justice partners.

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