Trending Topics

Mission Critical Partners collaborates with Marin County, California to digitize court services

Award-winning project vastly increases access to justice for litigants, enhances service provided to judges, court administrators, prosecutors, and defense attorneys

Sponsored by

Mission Critical Partners


STATE COLLEGE, Pa. — Mission Critical Partners (MCP) is celebrating the completion of Project Helio, an initiative of the Superior Court of California – Marin County, to transition its paper-based operations and a technology environment consisting of four aging and unreliable computer systems to digital-by-default court services. MCP provided subject-matter expertise pertaining to technology implementation and integration, project management, and change management.

The digital-by-default strategy seeks to improve court operations’ speed, transparency, and equity. The transition to digital-by-default services means that litigants no longer are required to visit a specific court location in Marin County, during specific hours of the day, to seek justice. The ability to leverage services digitally vastly increases access to justice for litigants. However, while digitization was the goal, litigants unable to take advantage of this capability still can access paper-based, in-person services.

“The court took a systematic and principles-based approach to helping staff members, judicial officers, and other stakeholders adopt these new tools and procedures,” said John Chiaramonte, MCP’s president of consulting services. “These efforts have resulted in remarkable improvements in the delivery of justice services.”

Significant project achievements include the following:

  • Digitizing all new and archived court documents.
  • Enabling documents to be sent digitally and securely.
  • Modernizing the case-management system to automate case-processing workflows, improve document and data capture and management, and streamline document production.
  • Providing litigant and involved party notifications.
  • Leveraging artificial intelligence and robotic process automation technologies to extract data to update the case-management system, reduce backlogs and data-entry errors, and help staff members process case-related data and documents in real time.
  • Launching a portal that provides both attorneys and members of the public with case information electronically and access to remote documents pursuant to California State Rules of Court.

The IJIS Institute designated the project to receive its highly prestigious Thomas J. O’Reilly Innovation Award for 2023. The award recognizes technical innovation that has contributed significantly to information in the public sector. According to James Kim, the court’s executive officer, the award holds special significance because it underscores the court’s commitment to innovation in the justice system.

“Innovation remains at the core of our mission in Marin County,” Kim said. “We are dedicated to promoting information sharing within our community and across the state of California, while also striving to ensure that everyone has meaningful access to the justice system.”

Kim praised MCP’s support of the project, particularly the role played by Joe Wheeler, MCP’s former vice president of justice and courts, who retired in late 2023. “Joe was critical in helping us develop the digital-by-default strategy,” Kim said.

Organizational change management was fundamental to the project’s success, and MCP played a key role in this regard. Some of the court’s key initiatives include:

  • Developing a communications plan to regularly update stakeholders about the project’s benefits, changes, challenges, and progress. The plan incorporated multiple channels including emails, instant messages, and video meetings.
  • Actively seeking feedback and addressing concerns throughout the process via regularly scheduled stakeholder meetings.
  • Implementing change-management training to create a knowledge base of strategies before the project’s start.
  • Developing a comprehensive training program tailored to different user levels.
  • Offering continuous support, including help desks, FAQ sections, and one-on-one assistance.

About Mission Critical Partners (MCP)

Mission Critical Partners (MCP) is a leading provider of data-integration, consulting, network, and cybersecurity solutions specializing in transforming mission-critical communications networks into integrated ecosystems that improve outcomes in the public safety, justice, healthcare, transportation, and utility markets. Our comprehensive experience and vendor-agnostic approach helps us develop modernized solutions for our clients to maximize value and create optimal efficiency while mitigating risk. Additional information and career opportunities are available at