How County Court E-Filing Requirements Affect Paper Filing
A recent order governs electronic filing (e-filing) in certain courts, specifically in all civil cases, including family and probate cases, at the Supreme Court of Texas, courts of appeals, district courts, statutory county courts, constitutional county courts, and statutory probate courts. (Click here to view the implementation schedule and more detailed information about the e-filing requirements). This is a day forward law; however, trying to manage a hybrid system of paper based and electronic documents can cause many problems. That is why many county courts – including the Harris County District Clerk’s Office – are switching all of their paper documents to electronic documents. We provide document scanning & indexing services on TXMAS Contract for converting paper documents to electronic documents to help county courts adapt to the new e-filing requirements.
Steps Involved in Our Document Scanning & Indexing Services
Trusting a company to perform document scanning & indexing services is not easy. That is why we have outlined here all the steps that we go through to ensure your project will be done right, on time, and within budget.
Step 1: Intake and Barcoding
To start, all files are sent to the intake team where they are counted and a count-per-box is recorded for reconciliation. Each file and box is tagged with a unique barcode number and entered into a tracking system. The barcode system provides an audit trail as records move through the various stages.
Step 2: Initial Review and Disassembly
In the next step, files are transferred from intake for initial review, disassembly and tagging. This includes,
- Verifying the barcode information matches the folder
- Removing documents from fasteners if applicable
- Identifying and separating unique documents (sticky notes, envelopes, etc.)
- Inserting applicable barcode separator sheets if applicable
- Returning folders to the boxes
- Once all of these steps are complete the files are transferred to the prep stations.
Step 3: Document Preparation
The document prep team ensures that all documents are free from staples, paper clips, etc. They also are verifying and preparing documents that may need special settings. The prep team also inserts document level barcode cover sheets at this time if it’s applicable. Although the documents are now separated from the folders, folders remain with the documents in their original box and are transferred to the scan station.
Step 4: Document Scanning, Image Quality Control and Indexing
At this point, operators are now ready to scan the documents. During the scan process, operators are making adjustments as needed based on document types and formats. Our experience indicates that some require special settings and the condition of the paper can sometimes require special attention. During the scanning process, a quality control team views the images to ensure legibility, skewed documents, etc.
If documents are not indexed using database and barcode technology, then keystroke operators will begin the index process. Here are some of the methods we can use to index scanned documents:
- Double-key enter the primary index field(s)
- Utilize customer provided database (if available) to match double-key entry.
- Implement drop-down and pick list for standardized fields, eliminating key-stroking.
- Utilize bar-coded separator sheets to automatically set file and/or document boundaries.
- Programmatically control and validate key entry fields based on their characteristics, i.e. alpha, alphanumeric, or all numeric.
- Incorporate the bar-code information collected during the catalog process to ensure that all separator sheets have been scanned and accounted for.
Once a box has been scanned, checked for quality, and indexed, it is transferred to the reassembly team.
Step 5: Reassembly
The final stage in the process is reassembly. Documents will be bound and returned to folders within their assigned box.
Contact Us for More Information on Our Document Scanning & Indexing Services
We recognize that each document scanning & indexing project is unique and can adapt our processes to meet your specific requirements. In fact, you can try our document scanning & indexing services for free! To learn more about how our document scanning & indexing services will help your county court adapt and meet the new e-filing requirements, please give us a call at 1-800-803-1083 or send us a message.