Marion County District Court, along with select other court offices, now have an online information portal available to the public.
The system, called Smart Search, can be used to find cases both newly filed and some older cases filed before the system went online in August for part of the state, including the 8th Judicial District, which includes Marion County courts.
Both district court cases and appellate court cases can be found there.
Smart Search is designed to standardize recordkeeping and eliminate most paper filing. The state Office of Judicial Administration is working to solve problems with the newly introduced system, such as case documents not showing up.
Lisa Taylor, public information officer for the Office of Judicial Administration, said researchers must use courthouse computer terminals to see documents for cases filed before the changeover to the new system.
Some cases and documents are sealed from public view. They include adoption records, certain criminal
investigation records, expunged criminal records, child in need of care and juvenile cases, care and treatment proceedings for mentally ill or disabled people, and grand jury proceedings.
Domestic filings such as divorces, child custody or support proceedings, coroner inquests, guardian and conservator cases, and protection from abuse or stalking cases cannot be viewed from the online portal.
District judge Michael Powers, who presides over the 8th Judicial District, including Dickinson, Geary, Marion, and Morris counties, is one of 13 members of the steering committee for the system.