Twinsburg Bulletin: Coughlin convenes Advisory Council to streamline operations

Friday, February 20th, 2015

Reprinted from the Twinsburg Bulletin
Published: February 18, 2015

Stow Municipal Clerk of Courts Kevin Coughlin convened his Clerk’s Advisory Council Feb. 13 at the courthouse, and council members offered input on improving overall court operations and access.

The committee, which includes Twinsburg Police Chief Chris Noga, represents court stakeholders and was created by Coughlin to provide feedback and suggestions for better operation of the office.

Council membership also includes attorney James Armstrong; attorney Donald Varian; attorney Lee Ann Schaffer; Magistrate John Clark; Summit County Sheriff Steve Barry; Ohio State Patrol Lt. William Haymaker; Stow Police Chief Jeff Film; Tallmadge prosecutor John Scavelli; and former Stow Councilor Janet D’Antonio.

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Coughlin updated the council on reforms he has implemented since taking office in December 2013 and reviewed the process used to select CourtView Justice Solutions as the court’s new case management system.

“To put it bluntly, this office was plagued by mismanagement,” Coughlin said. “We have worked hard to change the culture of the clerk’s office, improve customer service and reduce costs.”

Coughlin recently announced that he has cut the clerk’s operating budget to its lowest level since 2001.

“We are also proud to report that the clerk’s office has begun installation of its new case management software, replacing the antiquated paper-based system,” Coughlin added. “This means that the Stow Municipal Court will finally be up to speed with other courts in the way it does business. Customer wait times will be reduced, efficiency will improve, and the availability of public court records will be expanded. And we negotiated a deal with our vendor that is about half the amount the judges expected to pay.”

Attorney members expressed frustration with the onerous process they and their clients encounter at the court and the challenges of having to track down paper case files.

“Our new system will allow the court to accept electronic filings and to immediately scan documents,” Coughlin said. “This will put all the information judges, attorneys, law enforcement, and the public need at their fingertips when and where they need it.”

Members representing law enforcement agencies asked that the clerk’s office provide standardized reporting and complaint forms that can be filed online, and suggested a public database to search for people with outstanding warrants.

“Our office will benefit greatly from the advice we heard today,” Coughlin said.

The Stow Municipal Court serves the communities of Stow, Cuyahoga Falls, Hudson, Tallmadge, Twinsburg, Macedonia, Munroe Falls, Silver Lake, Sagamore Hills, Northfield Village, Northfield Center Township, Twinsburg Township, Reminderville, Peninsula, Boston Heights and Boston Township.

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