Prior to 2010, Wichita Falls, Texas, had trouble staying in compliance with the Texas State Records Retention Schedule, which dictates how long listed records series must be retained. Today, a new enterprise content and records management system is making compliance and case management easier for the municipal court.

"In the past, our closed case files were in boxes stuck in the attic somewhere," says Patrick Gray, systems applications analyst II for Wichita Falls. "Records retention was rarely enforced, so the paper was stacking up and we were running out of storage space."

In 2010, the city implemented Laserfiche to address its records and document management needs. As part of the software installation process, the city's retention schedules were uploaded into the new system so that they automatically could be applied to all city records.

Because the court is now one of ten city departments that uses electronic documents, it no longer has to print and store paper records. Once an electronic record's retention period is up, the city clerk permanently destroys the document within the records management program. To apply a retention schedule to a court record, court clerks close the case by changing a metadata field within the document and records management system. That initiates a workflow that automatically archives and applies the appropriate retention schedule to the case documents.

In conjunction with the new system, which has a mobile app, the court rolled out seven iPad 2 tablets in February 2012 allowing Municipal Court Judge Larry Gillen to update case statuses from the bench.

For instance, if someone is on a payment plan and doesn't show up for court, the judge can use his iPad to change a metadata field. The system then will automatically e-mail the relevant court workers to let them know they need to issue a warrant for the individual.