Consolidated Court Automation Programs (CCAP)
The Consolidated Court Automation Programs (CCAP) provide information technology (IT) services to the Wisconsin Court System. CCAP ensures technology is used effectively and economically throughout Wisconsin's judicial branch of government. For over three decades, CCAP has helped Wisconsin courts broadened their use of technology to improve court operations, expand services to litigants, increase operational efficiencies, and accommodate information sharing throughout the justice system.
Started in 1987, the original CCAP acronym stood for the Circuit Court Automation Program, with the goal of providing automation in county trial courts. In 2001, the Circuit Court Automation Program merged with the Office of Information Technology Services, a sister court system IT department and expanded the user base to include the Appellate Courts and court administrative offices. The unified Consolidated Court Automation Programs provided greater efficiencies to the courts. This included services that were not anticipated in 2001 such as a single electronic filing (eFiling) system for the circuit and appellate courts, official case records and documents shared between case management systems and a means to provide users with a single logon account for circuit court and appellate eFilings.
CCAP's mission is clear, to ". . . facilitate greater productivity, efficiency and economy in the Wisconsin court system by providing responsive, high-quality, customer-oriented information technology services to ensure that citizens have an accessible, fair and effective judicial system." CCAP has fulfilled this mission while increasing services provided with modest growth in budget and staffing. Given the fast rate of technological change over the past few decades, court system leaders and advisory groups at CCAP’s inception could not have imagined the solutions CCAP provides today.
The scope of services CCAP provides has greatly expanded since its inception. While CCAP has always brought state-of-the-art technology to Wisconsin's circuit courts, in the world of electronic filing this means creating solutions for a wider group, including justice partners, attorneys, pro se litigants, the public, and judges. The increased services CCAP provides permeate the justice system in countless ways. For example, eFiling is not just a system to allow attorneys and pro se litigants to file electronic documents. An integrated document management system with scanning capabilities was required to allow electronic filers access to paper filings from self-represented litigants. New software applications were needed for judges to view electronic files in chambers, and work with paperless files from the bench. Justice partners including district attorneys and public defenders needed the ability to electronically file and access case documents, and systems to provide the public with access to electronic documents in counties was also part of the overall eFiling solution.
CCAP's hardware and networking solutions have also evolved in response to technological changes and changes in the workforce. One example is that users can log into their work desktop from a remote location; a judge creating an order can lock their workstation in chambers and later that evening, if they want to continue working on the order, open up their desktop, as it was when they left chambers.
Consolidated Court Automation Programs
Tom Flitter, Chief Information Officer
110 East Main Street, Suite 500
Madison, WI 53703-3328
Supporting CCAP's User Base
In 2020, Wisconsin saw 631,296 cases opened and 608,730 cases disposed in the circuit courts (see Wisconsin's 2020 Caseload summary). This number is down from 2019 where courts opened 802,395 cases and disposed 800,730 cases (see Wisconsin's 2019 Caseload summary). CCAP provides a variety of software and hardware solutions to support this heavy workload for a variety of users: justice partners, circuit court and court of appeals judges, court commissioners, Supreme Court justices, clerks of circuit court, clerks, assistants, registers in probate, attorneys, court administrative offices, and the public. With electronic files, the courts are 100% reliant on technology to keep the justice system working as well as to help individuals resolve legal disputes.
Court staff located in all of Wisconsin's 72 county circuit courts, circuit and appellate court district offices, administrative offices, the Supreme Court and court of appeals use CCAP computers with both custom and commercial software needed to effectively perform the duties of the judicial branch. In an age where remote court hearings and remote work are common, CCAP provides these tools while still ensuring sensitive data is secure.
Custom CCAP applications
Circuit Court Case Management
Circuit courts use CCAP's Case Management system to manage cases from initial filing through disposition. This includes all filings, minutes for hearings, and a calendar containing upcoming court activity. Given that the official court record is electronic, the case management system is integral to the functioning of Wisconsin's circuit courts. This system creates court notices, summonses, judgments of conviction, driving suspensions, orders for financial disclosure and warrants—all critical in legal proceedings. CCAP Case Management began as the system where clerks recorded information contained in the official record, or paper case file; today it is the official record.
Automated civil, criminal, and juvenile jury instructions
CCAP, working with the Office of Judicial Education, provides semiannual jury instruction updates to the circuit courts. Judges can quickly and easily create standard jury instructions based using standard language and the specific circumstances of the case.
Jury management is a major responsibility of clerks of circuit court and requires receiving and processing prospective juror names from the Division of Motor Vehicle's driver information database. CCAP software automates the entire jury process, from juror randomization and selection through the electronic juror questionnaire process to summonsing jurors, tracking juror service on cases, recording their service and initiating payment.
Circuit Courts use CCAP's custom financial management system to track money received by and owed to the Clerk of Circuit Court and Register in Probate. Circuit courts receive court fees, fines, forfeitures, filing fees, copy fees, guardian ad litem fees and other money. Clerks use the financial system to hold money in trust, including bail bond payments and traffic deposits. This software integrates financial and case information and provides daily and monthly reporting for preparation of state and county financial reports and to reconcile trust funds to bank statements. The system is critical to ensure that the money collected in court fees, fines and forfeitures are disbursed to the correct agencies and funds by state and county treasurers.
The Judicial Dashboard provides circuit court judges and court commissioners with tools to thrive in an electronic world, by providing access to case information including the full court record, information about litigants, and upcoming court activity. Judges can also view statistics, such as case age information, which helps them to meet and exceed case processing goals. In the courtroom, judges and commissioners can manage high volume court, such as criminal intake, from the bench using eBench, an application tailored to provide critical information quickly and keep high volume court moving. Judges can take notes online, assign tasks to court staff, upload orders and electronically sign documents all from custom-developed solution.
Supreme Court and Court of Appeals Case Management
The Clerk of Supreme Court and Court of Appeals, Court of Appeals offices, and the Supreme Court use the SCCA case management system to track all aspects of the appellate court case life cycle, from initial filing through disposition.
Supreme Court and Court of Appeals Dashboard
The appellate court dashboard provides justices, court of appeals judges and supporting staff the ability to manage appeals electronically. This includes viewing case information, tracking motions and petitions, issuing orders, managing appeals, and sending messages to court staff.
Board of Bar Examiners (BBE)
BBE applications are used to track and record applicants to the Wisconsin State Bar and to monitor compliance with continuing legal education (CLE) credit requirements for current attorneys. These custom systems include services for electronic filing and software so BBE can process applications, course requests, and certify CLE requirements are met.
Office of Lawyer Regulation (OLR)
OLR investigators use the Matter application to track grievances, investigations, and dispositions relating to lawyer misconduct.
OLR staff use the Trust Account application to record attorney trust accounts. The application helps OLR staff track trust account overdrafts and their outcomes.
The justice system is complex and the courts have many justice partners that need court information and provide information to the courts. The many data-sharing interfaces add efficiencies, timeliness, and improve quality by avoiding duplicate keying into multiple systems and increasing overall accuracy. Information moves between systems at a much faster rate than paper, streamlining record keeping and improving the timeliness of case information for all partners. CCAP maintains interfaces with the following agencies:
State and local law enforcement agencies
State and local law enforcement agencies send electronic citations to the circuit courts. Clerk staff review the citations and create cases from the citation data, eliminating the need to manually key information to create the case.
Department of Transportation (DOT)
The circuit courts transmit court orders and reinstatements for suspension and revocation of driving privileges to DOT. When reinstating an individual's driving privileges, the circuit courts send electronic reinstatements to DOT.
Department of Natural Resources (DNR)
The DNR submits citations electronically to the circuit courts. Clerk staff review and create cases from the citations. At the conclusion of the case, the courts transmit disposition and sentence information to the DNR. In addition, the court sends notifications of court suspensions, withdrawals, and reinstatement of DNR licenses.
Department of Justice (DOJ)
The circuit courts share criminal disposition and sentence information electronically with the DOJ Crime Information Bureau. When a criminal case is closed, the case management system automatically transmits the information without clerk intervention. The courts transmit required information on bond conditions, civil commitments, civil injunctions, and criminal cases to DOJ. DOJ uses the court information to conduct background checks on individuals applying for a day care license or concealed carry permit. The information is used by DOJ to determine if an issued license should be revoked or to determine if an individual’s DNA needs to be tested.
Department of Revenue (DOR)
The circuit courts use CCAP Financial management to transmit outstanding debts and debtor information to DOR to intercept the debtor's individual Wisconsin income tax return to pay court obligations. When money is intercepted, DOR electronically deposits the money into the clerk of circuit court's bank account and sends an electronic notification of the intercept.
The circuit courts also use the financial management system to transmit outstanding debt, including restitution, to DOR's State Debt Collection Program (SDC). When money is collected, SDC electronically deposits the money into the clerk of circuit court's bank account and provides electronic notification with the details of how much was collected and for which debt and debtor.
DOR electronically files judgments for unpaid tax warrants with the circuit courts. A tax warrant case is automatically created and the judgment docketed in the civil lien index in the CCAP case management system. When a tax warrant is satisfied or released, DOR transmits this information electronically to the circuit court for an immediate update to the court case.
Department of Corrections (DOC)
The circuit courts electronically send the Judgment of Conviction and Assessment Report data and documents to DOC when a court case is adjudicated and the defendant is sentenced to state prison or probation.
The courts also transmit the Order for Pre-Sentence Investigation Report electronically to DOC and, upon request, and can send the Judgment of Conviction for Sentence to the County Jail and filing documents.
In turn, the DOC electronically transmits the Notice of Case Status Change, Notice of Court Ordered Financial Obligation Status and the Pre-sentence Investigation Report to the courts. The clerk reviews, files, and dockets these documents using the case management system.
State Public Defender's Office (SPD)
The courts transmit criminal and forfeiture case information, including court record updates, disposition and calendar information, to the SPD.
District Attorney IT Program (DAIT)
District attorney offices electronically file charging documents, juvenile petitions and other case filings with the circuit courts. Clerk staff review the information, create court cases and file court documents into the CCAP case management system.
The courts send case, court record and calendar information along with all documents filed on the case to the district attorney offices as clerk staff update information in the case management system.
The Department of Workforce Development (DWD)
DWD electronically files cases with the circuit court when an individual fraudulently collects unemployment and worker's compensation and is required to repay the funds. When the courts receive the judgment, the circuit court case is automatically created in the case management system, and the judgment is added to the civil lien index.
DWD sends judgment release information to the circuit courts when the debtor has settled their debt with DWD. The court case is automatically updated with this information in the CCAP case management system.
Department of Children and Families (DCF)
DCF electronically files cases with the circuit court when an individual fraudulently collects public assistance and is required to repay the funds. The court case is automatically created and the judgment docketed in the civil lien index in the CCAP case management system. When the judgment is satisfied or released, DCF transmits this information electronically to the circuit court for an immediate update to the court case.
DCF electronically files child support cases with the circuit courts. Clerk staff review the information, create court cases and file court documents into the CCAP case management system.
The courts send case and calendar information and documents to DCF as clerk staff file and update information in the case management system.
The State Bar of Wisconsin
Attorney name, firm, and address information is transmitted to the Office of Lawyer Regulation and Board of Bar Examiners from the Wisconsin State Bar. The data received by these two offices is automatically updated in their records management system to ensure up-to-date attorney information is readily available for these offices. In addition, the state bar sends the Office of Lawyer Regulation applications for Pro Hac Vice admission.
Hardware and Technical Services
CCAP provides a wide array of hardware and technical services; everything required for the Judicial Branch staff and elected officials to complete their work. This includes local networks, wide area networks, laptops, workstations, monitors, printers, scanners, receipt drawers and printers, Zoom, the ability to livestream court hearings, digital audio recording, phone, and disaster recovery services.
Remote hearings are now commonplace in Wisconsin’s courts. While some hearings need to be in-person, there were many opportunities for the courts to keep calendars moving using Zoom for virtual hearings and livestreaming for public court hearings and events. While CCAP deployed these technologies to courts across the state in response to the Coronavirus pandemic, it has now become a part of normal court operations.
Digital Audio Recording (DAR)
Circuit court judges, county court commissioners, and appellate court judges use DAR equipment to digitally record court hearings. In locations without access to court reporters, the DAR equipment is used to eliminate disruption in the court schedule. This technically complex environment includes microphones, audio mixers, and recording and playback equipment in hundreds of locations throughout the state, including courtrooms and hearing rooms. CCAP has also created solutions to allow judges and court reporters access to audio files on demand.
Circuit court software updates
CCAP updates software on a regular basis throughout the year, including Case Management, Jury Management, eFiling, and Financial Management. These updates can be in response to law changes, changes to mandatory court forms, to fix software defects, and add new features requested by users of these systems.
CCAP Online Services
CCAP provides a variety of online services for attorneys, justice partners, and the public. Besides the examples listed below, the courts provide information regarding a lawyer's public disciplinary history on the OLR Discipline Compendium and many self-help options in the court self-help center, including forms assistance for small claims, restraining orders, and family law. The self-help center includes a forms assistant for self-represented parties for common filings.
Public Access via Wisconsin Circuit Court Access (WCCA), Courthouse WCCA, and Wisconsin Supreme Court and Court of Appeals (WSCCA)
Anyone with access to the Internet can view public case information on statewide circuit court cases using WCCA and public appeal information in WSCCA. In all counties, the public can access information on circuit court cases open to public inspections, including documents for cases within that county, without staff assistance and without compromising the security and integrity of court records.
Those without Internet access can use WCCA in each county courthouse to access this statewide circuit court case information.
CCAP maintains many electronic services for attorneys and the public, and very early on set out to provide a single sign-on system to provide a better user experience. For example, attorneys electronically filing documents in the circuit courts use the same log on information when filing continuing legal education credits with the Board of Bar Examiners. CCAP’s eCourts authentication system provides a high level of security with a seamless user experience.
CCAP provides potential jurors services to submit online questionnaires and postponement requests when they cannot appear on the date summonsed. Potential jurors can use the jury status service to check on if and when and where they need to appear.
Circuit Court and Appellate eFiling
The Wisconsin Supreme Court passed the mandatory electronic filing rule in 2016, and CCAP began rolling out eFiling in March of 2017 for a subset of case types, and had the final set of case types implemented in December of 2019. This was a major undertaking that greatly expanded CCAP’s user base, as all attorneys were required to file documents, including case initiating documents, via the eFiling system. To support eFiling, CCAP added a second customer support center focusing on helping electronic filers set up accounts, file documents, and troubleshoot issues.
As of 2021, CCAP implemented mandatory eFiling in the court of appeals, and began piloting eFiling with the Supreme Court.
CCAP staff include database administrators, software engineers, business process analysts, technical engineers, cyber security engineers, technical consultants, and the administrative and leadership team needed to support those staff.
In CCAP's first two years, it developed plans and a pilot project for four small counties, while operating with a small, project-based staff supplemented by contract programmers.
Today, CCAP's staff of 85 full-time employees, supplemented by contract programmers, supports approximately 2,800 users throughout the state in the court system call center. CCAP's Wisconsin Courts eFiling Support Center has a much larger base, which includes all electronic filers such as attorneys and self-represented litigants, with over 120,000 active accounts. Approximately 60 staff function as support staff at least part of the time, meaning the majority of CCAP staff maintain a direct connection to our end users and ensuring systems are working properly for the courts and eFilers.
CCAP's effective staff training allowed it to respond to 2,800 calls per month in 2021 and 1,230 calls in CCAP's eFiling Support Center. In addition, staff responded to 1,200 requests for hardware service or repair.
CCAP analysts rotate through different duties, including the CCAP call center Wisconsin Courts eFiling Support Center, user training, software testing, and technology implementations. In addition to supporting CCAP software and hardware, CCAP staff also support email systems and word processing software.
CCAP analysts and technicians travel throughout the state for on-site training and hardware delivery. As a result, when users call CCAP's toll-free number for help, the person answering the call has direct experience with CCAP hardware and software and is familiar with the technologies supported by CCAP.
CCAP provides training and support to go along with technology solutions. Key to the programs' success is that users are involved in the design process, ensuring CCAP software is easy to use, functional and innovative. CCAP is a state-initiated and funded program that supports joint state and county responsibility for the court system.