Director of State Courts

Consolidated Court Automation Programs (CCAP)

CCAP is responsible for supporting the IT needs of the entire Wisconsin Court System. CCAP's mission is to: maintain reliable necessary and useful data with appropriate uniformity; provide the Wisconsin Court System with ready access to data; maintain, support and explore hardware and software necessary to store, secure and manage data; provide the public access to the Wisconsin Court System; and promote a high level of confidence and satisfaction in the Wisconsin Court System.

CCAP was created by merging two court system computer departments – the Circuit Court Automation Program and the Office of Information Technology Services – in July 2001. The merger united court technology systems to allow for more efficient, cost-effective use of resources.

The Circuit Court Automation Program, started in 1987, was one of the state's earliest and, as measured by its users, most successful efforts to provide automation in county trial courts. It represented a major undertaking by the Director of State Courts Office, to automate the labor-intensive and paper-based processes in the county trial courts.

CCAP brings state-of-the-art computer technology and software to Wisconsin's circuit courts by developing hardware and software and providing training and technical support. Key to the program's 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/county responsibility for the court system.

Contact information

Consolidated Court Automation Programs
Jean Bousquet, Chief Information Officer
110 East Main Street, Suite 500
Madison, WI 53703-3328
Phone: (608) 267-3728
Fax: (608) 261-6655

Circuit Court users and growth

In 2007, Wisconsin's circuit courts handled 1,031,363 contested and uncontested cases Adobe PDF. (Note: this figure does not include Portage County circuit court information.) The heavy workload has made technology increasingly critical for helping individuals resolve legal issues and allowing the criminal justice system to operate efficiently.

Clerks of circuit court, registers in probate, juvenile clerks, circuit court judges, and circuit court staff in all of Wisconsin's 72 counties use CCAP computers in their offices and chambers as well as in the court-rooms. Access to the Internet, the court system Intranet, and Internet e-mail is also provided.

In all counties, public terminals are available where anyone can access information on circuit court cases without staff assistance and without compromising the security and integrity of court records.

Anyone with access to the Internet can obtain information on state-wide circuit court cases in the CCAP system through Wisconsin Circuit Court Access (WCCA). For those who may not have Internet access via a computer, the public terminals in each county also provide access to this state-wide circuit court case information.

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CCAP applications for circuit court users

Case management
CCAP's case management software integrates case file and court calendar information to help the courts function smoothly. Case records and court calendars are easily accessed and can be printed in a variety of formats such as court notices, summonses, judges' calendars, minutes sheets, judgments of conviction, suspension letters, orders for financial disclosure and warrant lists-all critical documents in legal proceedings.

Automated civil, criminal, and juvenile jury instructions
CCAP, working with the University of Wisconsin, provides semiannual jury instruction updates to the circuit courts. Because these are automated, judges can quickly and easily adapt jury instructions to each individual case.

Legal research tools
CCAP provides database tools to circuit court judges who request them and updates legal research products on a quarterly basis.

Jury management
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 entering prospective jurors' names to recording juror questionnaires to selecting jury panels, assigning jurors to cases, recording juror service and initiating payment of juror expenses.

Financial management
The financial management software is a bookkeeping system that tracks money received by and owed to the Clerk of Circuit Court Office. Clerks receive court fees, fines, forfeitures, filing fees, copy fees, guardian ad litem fees and other money. This software integrates financial and case information and provides daily and monthly data for preparation of state and county financial reports and to reconcile trust funds to bank statements.

Court information repository
The court information repository (CIR) automatically captures data on cases in each county by extracting information on an hourly basis and transmitting it to a central server in Madison. This information is used to measure judicial caseload, document the need for new judge-ships and provide information for court management reports that are used to help allocate resources within the court system.

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Interagency cooperation and interfaces

CCAP is continually working to improve efficiency, both internally and with other Wisconsin justice agencies that share information, including law enforcement and district attorneys. CCAP works with a number of agencies to automate the exchange of data so that manual re-entry of shared data is not necessary. All of these electronic interfaces have streamlined record keeping and improved the timeliness and accuracy of case information for the agencies involved. The following interfaces with various justice agencies are currently functioning statewide or being implemented.

Tax warrant interface with the Department of Revenue
CCAP and the Department of Revenue (DOR) have been exchanging tax warrant information electronically on a statewide basis since 1997. Each week, DOR supplies CCAP with information on tax warrants that have been issued, satisfied or withdrawn. CCAP then transfers this to the case management system in each CCAP county. CCAP also transfers the circuit court case information to CIB.

Criminal and forfeiture case disposition/sentencing interface with Crime Information Bureau
CCAP has been exchanging criminal and forfeiture case disposition and sentence information with the Department of Justice's Crime Information Bureau (CIB) electronically on a statewide basis since 1999. When a criminal or forfeiture case is closed in the case management system in a CCAP county, the disposition and sentence information is exported to CIB.

Criminal and juvenile case interface with the District Attorney IT Program
CCAP has been exchanging criminal and juvenile circuit court case information with the District Attorney IT Program (DAIT) electronically since 2001. When a criminal or juvenile case is filed in the DAIT's case management system, this information is received electronically and transferred to the CCAP case management system in the appropriate county. While the case is active in the circuit court, CCAP exports case information (e.g. case activities, events, dispositions, and sentences) to the DAIT's case management system for use by the district attorney in the filing county. This interface is currently being implemented throughout the state.

Traffic case interface with State Patrol and the Department of Transportation
CCAP has been exchanging traffic case information with State Patrol and the Department of Transportation electronically since 2001. State Patrol officers issue citations using laptop computers in their squad cars and export the electronic citations to a floppy disk, which is delivered to a CCAP county clerk of circuit court office. The citation information is then transferred electronically to the State Patrol and the CCAP case management system. When the case is closed, the disposition and license suspension/revocation information is exported to the Department of Transportation. This interface is currently being implemented throughout the state.

Criminal and juvenile case interface with the Waukesha County District Attorney's Office
CCAP has been exchanging criminal and juvenile circuit court case information with the Waukesha County District Attorney's Office electronically since 2000. When a criminal or juvenile case is filed in the district attorney's case management system, this information is received electronically and transferred to the CCAP case management system in Waukesha county. While the case is active in the circuit court, CCAP exports case information to the district attorney's case management system.

Criminal and juvenile case interface with the Walworth County District Attorney's Office
CCAP has been exchanging criminal and juvenile circuit court case information with the Walworth County District Attorney's Office electronically since 2003. When a criminal or juvenile case is filed in the district attorney's case management system, this information is received electronically and transferred to the CCAP case management system in Walworth county. While the case is active in the circuit court, CCAP exports case information to the district attorney's case management system.

Juvenile case interface with the Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office
CCAP has been exchanging juvenile circuit court case information with the Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office electronically since 2000. When a juvenile case is filed in the district attorney's case management system, this information is received electronically and transferred to the CCAP case management system in Milwaukee County. While the case is active in the circuit court, CCAP exports case information to the district attorney's case management system.

Forfeiture/traffic citation interface with Milwaukee County Criminal Justice Information Systems
CCAP has been exchanging forfeiture and traffic citation court case information with the Milwaukee County Criminal Justice Information Systems (CJIS) electronically since 1998. When a forfeiture or traffic citation is entered into the CJIS database, this information is received electronically and transferred to the CCAP case management system in Milwaukee county. While the case is active in the circuit court, CCAP exports case information to the CJIS system.

Criminal case interface with Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office
CCAP has been exchanging criminal circuit court case information with the Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office electronically since 1998. When a criminal case is filed in the district attorney's case management system, this information is received electronically and transferred to the CCAP case management system in Milwaukee county. While the case is active in the circuit court, CCAP exports case information to the district attorney's case management system.

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Circuit court software updates

To maintain its case and financial management software systems, CCAP produces software updates every year. These updates accommodate changes in the laws, fix bugs and add features such as statistical reporting to improve court management at both the state and county levels by providing information on the nature of the caseload.

In 1997, CCAP redesigned its jury management software from a stand-alone application to a network application and added many features from the case management system.

CCAP continues to bring counties onto its various systems, a process that often involves converting existing data onto CCAP databases. For example, in 2003, Walworth County began using CCAP case, financial, and jury management software.

In 1998, CCAP also produced software that reduces the amount of paper produced in the courtroom and eliminates the need for clerks to take hand-written minutes in court and then key the information into a computer. The software is used in criminal cases and in traffic cases, where it also enables clerks to process payment of fines online.

CCAP software originally operated in an OS/2-based local area network in each circuit court, with each network being linked to the Director of State Courts' Office in Madison. During the past few years, CCAP undertook and completed an entire re-write of all CCAP circuit court software in Java programming language. CCAP has installed and implemented the updated software applications, new hardware, and a new operating system, Windows 2000, in each of the CCAP circuit court counties statewide.

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CCAP personnel

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 63 full-time employees supplemented by contract programmers supports approximately 2,800 users in locations. Approximately 45 staff function as support staff at least part of the time, for a very modest ratio of one support staff for every 60 users.

CCAP's growth is due to its ability to provide useful applications and excellent user support.

CCAP's effective staff training allows it to respond to more than 2,000 support calls per month. In 2002, staff also responded to over 800 requests for hardware service or repair.

The support staff is cross-trained and rotated through all user support functions, including help desk, training, release testing, and hardware and software implementation. Each staff member trains on all CCAP applications as well as word processing and spreadsheet software, and spends time answering phone questions from users calling the help desk.

In addition, staff conducts on-site and central training for users and travels to counties to install software and hardware. As a result, when users call CCAP's toll-free number for help, the person answering the call is experienced with CCAP hardware and software, familiar with the applications and court environment in which they are used and capable of solving the majority of problems immediately.

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