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The Third Branch

Portage County joins CCAP, completing statewide case management program

Portage County joined the Consolidated Court Automation Programs (CCAP) electronic case-management system on Dec. 5, completing statewide implementation in each of Wisconsin's 72 counties.

The rollout of CCAP began in 1991, when Marathon and Iowa counties first joined what was then known as the "Circuit Court Automation Project." The voluntary program was undertaken to help all circuit courts, regardless of size or local resources use technology to automate what had been labor intensive, paper-based processes in the circuit courts.

"While we have long considered CCAP a statewide system, adding Portage County is the final piece of the project. We determined long ago this was the best approach to case management, and that vision has paid off," said Director of State Courts A. John Voelker. "Now, more than 2,800 judges and court staff rely on CCAP in their daily work routines. It has become the lifeblood of the state court system."

CCAP initially integrated case file and calendar information, but has evolved into an organization that provides both technology and support services, including computer hardware, software, training and call center support for judges and court staff. The software applications used to manage the circuit court records and other court functions are developed in-house by CCAP staff. The system has evolved to include, among other things, juror management tools and a financial management component integrated with the case management system.

Portage County now will be able to take full advantage of those CCAP services and others, such as e-filing and other online services with the state now funding the equipment, software and support for the system.

Patricia Cal Baker, the newly appointed Portage County Clerk of Circuit Court, said that her staff has worked tirelessly with a group of analysts from the state to achieve a total conversion of more than 180,000 files that date back up to twenty-five years.

"I am so pleased to be involved in the successful completion of this project, and be able to offer the citizens of Portage County the benefits of this software conversion of our files. We will now be able to provide greater security in a variety of ways for court files, as well as allow greater access by the public to our court information," Baker said.

The project could not have happened without the hard work and dedication of both state and local staff who will continue working together, said Jean Bousquet, chief information officer for the state court system. "We look forward to working on electronic data exchanges with the Portage County district attorney and other justice system partners in coming months."

Although circuit court clerks and judges have long been familiar with the advantages CCAP provides, the general public maybe more familiar with CCAP’s online public records program known as Wisconsin Circuit Court Access (WCCA). Portage County Circuit Court case information will become available on WCCA within the next several months, after court staff works to ensure the data converted from the local Portage county system is accurate and complete.

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