The Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts Judicial Automation Department is tasked with developing and maintaining case management systems and other software applications for courts and administrative staff within the Unified Judicial System. The data the department's systems generate is used widely by a variety of state and local agencies to help them make informed policy decisions, foster public safety and be transparent.
Among the programs operated by the Judicial Automation Department are the Pennsylvania Appellate Court Case Management System (PACMS), an integrated system that serves the Supreme, Superior and Commonwealth Courts and a related eFiling system, PACFILE, that is currently being piloted in the Supreme Court. Other systems provided by the department are the Common Pleas Case Management System (CPCMS), a statewide criminal and dependency trial court docketing, case management and accounting system; and the Magisterial District Judge System (MDJS).
The Unified Judicial System web portal contains both public and secure information. Users can:
The Pennsylvania Appellate Court Case Management System (PACMS) is an integrated case management and docketing system for the chambers and filing offices of Pennsylvania’s three appellate courts. PACMS records and tracks court business — allowing the three courts to use it both individually and collaboratively to docket case information, schedule cases for court session, internally assign and circulate court opinions for judge's review and generate the resulting court orders. Public appellate court docket sheets are available on the AOPC’s web portal.
The Common Pleas Criminal Court Case Management System (CPCMS) provides case management, accounting, and reporting functions to the criminal Courts of Common Pleas. The primary users of the system are judges, chambers staff, court administration and clerks of courts. The information in the system is made available securely to ancillary criminal justice agencies in each county. Used by nearly 10,000 users in all 67 counties, CPCMS interacts extensively with several state criminal justice agencies directly and through JNET — the Pennsylvania Justice Network. A major benefit of the system is the online availability of comprehensive case information to the public at no cost.
The Magisterial District Judge System (MDJS) is a comprehensive case management system that serves all Magisterial District Judge courts, including central and night courts and the Pittsburgh Municipal Court. The Magisterial District Judge courts have jurisdiction over traffic, non-traffic, criminal, private criminal, civil, landlord/tenant and miscellaneous actions (civil and landlord/tenant actions are limited to judgment amounts not to exceed $12,000). The system is used by approximately 3,000 users and includes case management, forms and reports production, and accounting. Criminal case information in the MDJS can be pulled into the CPCMS when a case is held or waived to the Courts of Common Pleas, eliminating the need for redundant data entry.
The Administrative Support Application Program (ASAP) supports the activities of AOPC’s administrative units including finance, human resources and payroll. It was released in its current form in 2003. ASAP's primary activities are assisting AOPC users with IT requests and improving their ability to interface with several state departments.