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Case Study: Elkhart County

Courtroom tradition meets technology innovation

When the pandemic halted court proceedings in Elkhart County, Indiana, officials had to get in front of a potential backlog across its nine courtrooms. Last year, the county upgraded to a secure Cisco network to easily hear cases remotely via Webex. This allowed Elkhart County to not just recover and adjust in the face of change, but to thrive.

Summary

Challenges

  • Justice system is built around in-person hearings
  • During the COVID-19 shutdown, courts needed a way to safely hear cases, while keeping everyone distanced

Results

  • Nine Elkhart County courtrooms, with Webex running on a secure network
  • Cases stay on schedule, with participants able to see the courtroom, judge, and presentations
  • Facial expressions and body language can be observed
  • Court hearings went from 300 people in a room to three: the judge, bailiff, and court reporter
    • Reduces risk during pandemic
    • Simplifies security
    • Eliminates defendant transport, resulting in cost savings
    • No litigant travel; attorneys accomplish in 15 minutes what used to take a half day

What the customer is saying

I was the one who was really resistant to doing remote hearings. Then, I started realizing the benefits. We improved safety, reduced costs, and litigants take a 15-minute break from work for court. There is no downside.

Michael A. Christofeno, Judge, Elkhart County Circuit Court

Who is Elkhart County?

Industry: Government

Location: Elkhart County, Indiana

Size: More than 1,000 employees

Website: visitelkhartcounty.com

What the partner is saying

By putting a secure, forward-thinking infrastructure in place, when COVID happened we can [now] handle video arraignment. We’re well-aligned with Cisco for their collaboration.

Bob Tadevitch, President, Network Solutions