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Now Pay Delinquent Real Property Taxes Online
Eaton County Treasurer, Bob Robinson, announced this month that Eaton County property owners have a new and convenient way to make delinquent tax payments.  The treasurer’s office has contracted with Official Payments, a leading provider of electronic payment solutions to offer delinquent tax payment processing over the Internet through credit card and debit card transaction.  Visa, Discover, and MasterCard debit and credit cards will be accepted. This new service offers taxpayers a fast and efficient way to pay online and reduces manual processing time in the treasurer’s office.

“Through a unique partnership with Official Payments and BS&A Software, taxpayers can get online, pay, and process their delinquent tax payments instantly, in real time,” said Robinson.  “This is part of our ongoing work to increase efficiency in the treasurer’s office.  It can also help folks avoid last minute additional fees and interest on their past due real property taxes.”

For more information, go to http://www.eatoncounty.org/departments/county-treasurer 


New Legislation Extending Property Tax Exemptions to Qualified Disabled Veterans

Click here for more information.


Solar Power Energy Generation Statistics

Click here to view how many kwh have been produced by Eaton County's Solar Panel.

 


 

Transitioning to Paperless File Management

 

UPDATED: December 22, 2008

 

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Why We Did It Transitioning to Paperless How We Do It (with videos) Benefits of P.F.M. Tips / Suggestions FAQs

 


 

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TRANSITIONING TO
PAPERLESS FILE MANAGEMENT


Timeline
October 2003 Switched file progress notes to computer instead of physical file.
October 2003 Began scanning closed 2003 files.
November 2003 Began sending subpoenas via e-mail to select police agencies.
November 2003 Began sending discovery to defense attorneys via e-mail.
January 2004 Began scanning all new, incoming warrant requests. Maintained a “paper” file. Transition period with both "paper" and "electronic" files in court.
During 2004 Scanned current open cases as time permitted until all files were completely scanned.
June 2004 Interface program completed, linking ACT with LF via "Shift + F1".
January 2005 Stopped making misdemeanor "paper" files.
May 2005 Stopped making felony "paper" files. Office criminal dockets operating 100% without "paper" files.
September 2005 Family Court files (parental abuse/neglect, delinquency) are paperless.
March 2006 Began scanning appeal files & receiving transcripts via e-mail or disk.
March 2007 Child Support division is paperless.

 

Our goal was to eliminate both problems -- searching for and storing files -- by eliminating the files! Our strategy was to make our computers do more work for us, to organize and store our files.

We already had one piece in place: our case management software. Basic information (defendant, victim and witness data; charges issued; scheduled events) are stored in the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan's Adult Case Tracking System (ACTS) and Juvenile Case Tracking System (JCTS). Almost 93% of Michigan's county prosecutors use ACTS or JCTS. In order to eliminate the physical file, attorneys, investigators, victim advocates and legal secretaries had to be able to jointly make progress notes through the computer. So, before we made any other change, we required all staff to begin making their progress notes in ACTS or JCTS instead of the physical, paper file.

In 2003, our County Information Systems director acquired electronic storage (imaging) software -- called Laserfiche, a product and division of Compulink Management Center, Inc. (www.laserfiche.com/) -- but similar imaging products are available.] He encouraged county departments to use the electronic storage as an alternative to physical file storage. And, he urged us to go beyond mere storage by using imaged documents on current or pending files. To that end, we developed a plan to switch to electronic or paperless files.

We organized our "electronic file" in Laserfiche (LF) and made the file accessible in a number of different ways. We can access a file by defendant name, victim name, police complaint number, court file number, or the unique case number assigned by ACTS/JCTS that is used to reference the case in criminal history files maintained by the Michigan State Police. Inside that file, we created sub-folders for "police reports", "criminal history", "correspondence", "crime victim rights documents", "photos", etc. LF gave us greater and more fluid organization than any physical file folder.

To be effective, all attorneys and staff required access to the electronic files, even in courtrooms and conference rooms. The county's network was initially hard-wired to all areas of our courthouse, but more recently a wireless network was installed.

And, in order to eliminate physical files, we needed our attorneys to have everything electronic that they would have had with the physical file. So, we equipped each attorney with a laptop computer.

To simplify switching back and forth between ACTS/JCTS and the imaged documents, the I.T. programmers created an interface so that a user simply keys "Shift + F1" to jump from ACTS/JCTS to the documents related to that case.

During 2004, we maintained duplicate files (electronic and paper). This was a major burden on the clerical staff. Much of the delay was simply attributable to caution and getting office personnel ready for the change. We were blazing a new trail, we had no other office to use as an example, and so we took small steps forward. In hindsight, we could have moved much faster. Indeed, we now discourage other prosecutor offices from maintaining duplicate files for any significant time.

Of course, we met resistance to the project internally, and a great deal of skepticism about relying on computers without a paper back-up. But the internal resistance passed quickly; even attorneys who lacked confidence operating laptop computers quickly saw the improved efficiency and advantages over paper files. And we recognize that our success is a direct result of very good computer support, both from our prosecutors association (that maintains ACTS/JCTS) and from our County Information Systems department (that maintains the imaging system and our computer equipment). We would hesitate to recommend paperless file management to any office that does not have good technical support available.

To address concerns over computer failure, the County Information Systems department designed back-up systems to protect both our case management system and the imaged documents. Both systems are backed up nightly to remote locations, so the maximum potential loss of information is limited to one day. We also have a back-up version of our case management system running parallel to our main server in case of its failure. We have not experienced any major failures of the imaging server. The longest failure so far, was approximately 90 seconds long, and went unnoticed by our attorneys.

Eliminating the physical file proved to be liberating. It significantly freed up our clerical staff time. And the attorneys, now operating without a back-up paper file, seemed to accept the "inevitable" and focused on discovering the benefits of using the laptop computers. The legal secretaries soon began to ask for expanded responsibilities. Within a month of operating without felony files, we abandoned a request (which had been submitted with our annual budget for the past several years) for an additional legal secretary.


 

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Why We Did It Transitioning to Paperless How We Do It (with videos) Benefits of P.F.M. Tips / Suggestions FAQs

 

 

 

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If you're looking for assistance with a problem and you don't know where to turn, or simply want information on a particular human service issue, 2-1-1 is for you. Currently, 2-1-1 service is available in Clinton, Eaton, Ingham, and Jackson counties through Central Michigan 211. 

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