Boone County Courthouse to Update Technology

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COLUMBIA - Courtrooms inside the Boone County courthouse are going digital.

In a Court en Banc meeting Tueday night, the 13th Judicial Circuit discussed a variety of technological updates.

Renovations to the 2 South courtroom and the Ceremonial courtroom would be paid for using available funds from courthouse expansion.

"It will also allow us to have video conferencing which saves us some money," said court administrator, Kathy Lloyd.

Instead of bringing individuals from the Department of Corrections to Boone County, many proceedings will take place using video.

The 13th Circuit has been using video conferencing technology with jails since the 1990s. This is new at the Department of Corrections level.

"The cases at the Department of Corrections are generally more serious in terms of the criminal behavior and the terms are generally longer," said Lloyd. "That allows us to not have to bring those people in, and obviously the jail's a lot closer than a lot of the facilities that we have across the state."

"We save the transportation and the jail days and the time that is associated with bringing those individuals in," she said.

Lloyd said there were significant savings in the first month alone.

She said the idea is not to have a long trial by video. It would be effective to appear remotely when someone is entering a plea.

Boone County will start "e-filing" in February 2014. Callaway County has been using the system since October of last year.

All of the judges' files will be on an electronic format. Judges will be looking at all the case files electronically and making their dockett entries themselves while on the bench.

"They're going to be busy on the bench taking care of the technological functions," Lloyd said.

She believes the access to the information will be much quicker for the public.

Right now they are trying to get the benches set up with all the technology. Starting January 1 the judges will start doing everything from the bench electronically. Starting February 3 attorneys will be required to start filing electronically.

"I think it's just the court doing business more efficiently and effectively," she said.

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