Alamance County MIS and the Administrative Office of the Courts has been named one of the 10 public sector projects to win Government Computer News’ GCN Awards for IT Excellence for our work on the Electronic Protective Order System used by our Family Justice Center.
Victims of domestic violence often run a bureaucratic gauntlet that prevents them from applying for legal protection from their abusers. Many have to travel to multiple locations to acquire a protective order, and the number of agencies involved often means delays in enforcing the order. After years of work at the state and local level, Alamance County, N.C., in 2013 became the first in the state to set up an Electronic Protective Order System (EPOS) that opened bottlenecks in the process.
With EPOS, testimony of the victim and the subsequent order can be 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 can then be transmitted and printed for the victim as well as the sheriff’s department to service the order. Today, only 6 percent of victims seeking protective orders fail to finish the protective order process.