CourtFlow is a computer application in every courthouse that streamlines the paper trail from the bench of the judge to the office of the clerk of court. Clerks of Superior Court say CourtFlow has cut their work in half.
Before CourtFlow was installed, clerks had to take notes during a trial, manually type information onto forms and hope to get the judge's signature before the judge moved on to the next county. The rotating schedules of Superior Court judges made work a real challenge for the clerks. Some orders, such as those to pay restitution or to set a jail sentence, sometimes could not be completed in time. This caused delays in the enforcement of rulings until the forms could be mailed to the judge for his signature. Now, as the judgment is being read aloud in court, forms can often be printed and handed to the judge for his signature before he ever leaves the bench.
Courtflow is designed to be used in the courtroom while court is in session. Case data already contained in the Automated Criminal Infractions System (ACIS), such as the names of the parties, the county and the charges, are automatically downloaded into CourtFlow, saving the clerks valuable time.
The clerks then enter the terms of the judgment, including conditions of probation, the length of a jail sentence, or the amount of restitution into CourtFlow by simply clicking on the various options included in the program.
All the disposition information entered into CourtFlow can be automatically uploaded into the Automated Criminal Infractions System (ACIS), which is used statewide by law enforcement and judicial personnel. Police can now access more timely information on an individual because criminal records are updated almost immediately. Judges, district attorneys, clerks and employers who require criminal records checks also benefit from the increased efficiency.
Court Services staff began installing CourtFlow in the summer of 1998 with pilot programs in Buncombe, Wake and Orange counties. The final four counties came on line in June 2000. Those counties were Franklin, Gates, Hyde and Yadkin.