Electronic Protective Order System Wins 2014 Government Innovation Award
Family Justice Center of Alamance County | March 2015
Chapel Hill, NC – The Alamance County Electronic Protective Order System won the 2014 Government Innovation Grant Award (GIGa) at a ceremony held at the UNC School of Government. The GIGa program is a partnership of the Local Government Federal Credit Union, the UNC School of Government and the North Carolina Local Government Information Systems Association (NCLGISA).
The goal of the GIGa Program is to reward technological innovations across governments in North Carolina who are engaged in efforts “that help improve citizen services by increasing efficiencies, effectiveness and possibly creating cost savings.” Selected programs are included in the annual “State of the State of Technology” compilation, featuring all governmental submissions and offering promising practices for local governments to model and implement.
Victims of domestic violence in Alamance County previously ran a bureaucratic gauntlet when applying for legal protection from their abusers. Many had to travel to multiple locations to acquire a protective order, and the number of agencies involved often meant delays in enforcing the order.
With the initiation of the Electronic Protective Order System on 6/24/13, the testimony of the victim and the subsequent order is transmitted via a web-based system to the Clerk of Court’s office. From there, documents are forwarded electronically to the District Court judge, where a victim can be heard via a webcam. If granted, the order is then transmitted and printed for the victim as well as the sheriff’s department to service the order.
The Electronic Protective Order System has had a huge impact on services and safety for victims and personnel:
- The collective time for processing has been cut in half – from twelve to 3-5 hours.
- Referrals to other Family Justice Center agencies have doubled and tripled which means victims are able to take advantage of the services they need with one stop.
- Law enforcement personnel have 24/7 online access to the protective order which improves safety for the officer and the victim.
Attached is a picture of the team that was present to receive the award:
- Sherrie O’Shields – DV Administrative Assistant, Alamance County Sheriff’s Office
- Judge Brad Allen – Chief District Court Judge, Judicial District 15A
- Cindy Brady – Director, Family Justice Center of Alamance County
- Greg Paravis – PC Systems Manager, Alamance County MIS
- Donna Harris – Assistant Clerk of Court, Alamance County Clerk of Superior Court
- Judge Katie Overby – District Court Judge, Judicial District 15A
Not pictured but instrumental in the development of the Electronic Protective Order System:
- Jill Davis – Trial Court Coordinator, Alamance County District Court
- Judge Jim Roberson – Chief District Court Judge, Judicial District 15A
- Frank Merricks – Director, Alamance County MIS
- Lynn Rousseau – Executive Director, Family Abuse Services of Alamance County
Please feel free to contact me at 336-512-0342 if you have additional questions.