Illinois Bar Journal

January 2020Volume 108Number 1Page 12

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ISBA Members to Test Pilot New Court Records Database

Roughly 30 ISBA Members selected to provide feedback on case information portal, re:SearchIL.

ISBA members are taking an active role in test piloting the state’s new online court records database, re:SearchIL. While the system is currently available to judges as well as attorneys and pro se litigants, who can use the tool to search their own cases, the intention is to scale up the service and provide limited access to court documents statewide.

Plano, Texas-based Tyler Technologies, which developed the state’s e-filing system, connected with ISBA’s Standing Committee on Legal Technology (CoLT) to find test users, says Trent Bush, vice-chair of CoLT. Roughly 30 members from CoLT and the ISBA at-large are participating in a six-month test drive of re:SearchIL beginning this month, when they’ll receive training on the system. Members will provide feedback on interface issues; how well re:SearchIL responds to searches; and how consistently it complies with search policies, such as those addressing privacy.

“As part of the implementation process, lots of testing is involved,” says Bush, an attorney with Sterling-based Ward Murray Pace & Johnson. Bush was on the Illinois Supreme Court’s Special Committee on E-Business and its e-Business Policy Advisory Board and helped Tyler connect with CoLT members.

“In state court, you have a lot of different considerations to what documents should be accessible to various users—attorneys, staff, judges, clerks, the public—more than for the federal PACER system,” he says. “In Illinois state court, there’s a lot more personally identifiable information in the records that you don’t see in PACER. Tyler made clear it wants input on the nuts and bolts of accessing documents and whether the right features are present. We’ll be able to provide feedback on what we want as attorneys and what our staff need to see.”

Statewide searching should become live sometime during the second half of 2020, says Phillip Vaden, senior manager of re:Search at Tyler, which also provides the service to other states. “We are in the very early stages of making content available,” Vaden says. “I think you’ll see an expansion in the coming months and years to bring more and more types of cases into re:SearchIL.” (Cook County will be intergrated with re:SearchIL once its civil cases go live with Tyler’s Odyssey case management system in early 2020, Vaden says).

Before e-filing was implemented statewide, individual courts developed their own case management systems, some of which don’t integrate well with other technology platforms. Tyler has proposed two different models of how re:SearchIL will work based on how to address these integration issues. Regardless, the system will include a paid version (starting at $30 a month) and a free public version. Unlike the free version, the paid version will have access to case alerts, name alerts, in-document text search, export functions, saved searches, folders, and other features. Both versions will allow for searches of cases and filings statewide and document purchases.

“Re:SearchIL is the first platform to provide Illinois with a single, unified site for case information from all 102 counties, the Illinois Appellate Court, and the Illinois Supreme Court,” Vaden says.

For more information on re:SearchIL, visit

Pete Sherman is Managing Editor of the Illinois Bar Journal.

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