If there is any place in the annals of state government in which electronic records can help an antiquated system become more transparent, it's the court system.
Indiana already has made great strides in recent decades in getting the records of a growing number of county court jurisdictions into searchable databases with online access.
Now a growing trend for mandatory electronic filing of court documents promises to create even more efficiency and transparency in our state courts, eliminating mountains of paperwork.
We applaud this effort and challenge Lake County to get on board as quickly as possible.
Within the past 15 months, courts in 55 of the state's 92 counties, as well as the Indiana appellate division, have adopted mandatory electronic filings for most new criminal and civil lawsuits and case-related paperwork.
Porter, LaPorte, Newton and Jasper counties already require e-filing. Lake County hopes to be on board in 2018.
Already, an estimated 2.1 million court documents have been electronically filed statewide since July 2016.
Ultimately, it's believed this will save our courts money on copying, paper and filing costs. It also allows for quicker access to court documents by attorneys — saving time, money and gridlock in clerks’ offices.
And the public benefits in the availability of non-confidential court documents online at mycase.in.gov.
With more than 12 million online hits during the 2017 budget year, the public clearly is using the service.
The system is a big win for efficiency and transparency that should be duplicated by other government entities that maintain records of public interest.