In a surprise revelation this week, the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) stated that when a case that was filed prior to November 13th, 2018 – when King County’s KCSCRIPT system went live – has new activity, the KCSCRIPT case record is updated but the case record is then removed from the legacy SCOMIS system.

A bit of background: when King County moved off of the state’s SCOMIS system last year to KCSCRIPT, any case filed in King County after KCSCRIPT went live would only be available for public view in KCSCIPT; new case records were not replicated over to SCOMIS. Older cases filed prior to KCSCIPT would appear in both SCOMIS and KCSCRIPT, though with varying sets of data for each system. This is why the utility of CourtTrax’s ‘hybrid’ reports is so vital: by drawing data from both systems for case records, CourtTrax can provide its users as complete a case record as is available for King County cases.

But, according to the AOC, when a case has new activity occur on it – a new filing, and new judgment event, etc. – the case record is scrubbed from SCOMIS: since KCSCRIPT does not replicate data to SCOMIS, the SCOMIS copy of a case record is no longer current; thus no longer accurate; thus SCOMIS removes the record.

From the Washington State Administrative Office of the Courts:

“As you may be aware, the King County Clerk’s Office (KCCO) has implemented its own case management system and is managing all of the King County Superior Court cases in the new system.  For older cases we retain the original case in SCOMIS until KCCO makes updates to the case in their new system.  Once the updates are made, the version in SCOMIS is incomplete and is removed from SCOMIS.  … We cannot restore the previous version as it would be an out-of-date version of the current case record.”

As mentioned, SCOMIS and KCSCRIPT provide different sets of data for case records. As a prime example, SCOMIS records can contain Attorney details like Attorney Name(s), Bar #, Firm Name, Address, Phone Number, and email address. By contrast, KCSCRIPT provides only an Attorney name. Thus, when a case is updated in KCSCRIPT, and removed from SCOMIS, information that might be vital to a user may also suddenly become unavailable.

The AOC says that some of these issues will be addressed with a system update to SCOMIS which is planned to occur within the next few months. Exactly when this update will take place, and whether or not it will address the loss of data points or whether it will restore cases that have been removed from SCOMIS is unknown at this time. As new information becomes available, we will provide updates on our blog and newsletter.

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