Choctaw Nation Revamps Judicial Process

June 04, 2020 by Meredith Trimble

Choctaw Nation Revamps Judicial Process

The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma Judicial Branch is a long-standing independent branch of the Choctaw government. Established in 1836, it interprets the laws of the sovereign nation and has grown and evolved with the changing needs of Choctaw citizens. Today, the Choctaw Nation Judicial Branch exists as a shining example of Choctaw life, providing fair justice to all who enter the jurisdiction.

With a legacy court system that could not scale or sustain continued growth or the tribal court’s long-term vision, a move to more sophisticated technology was necessary.

The challenges before court officials were many, including how to continue to provide fair justice in alignment with the jurisdiction’s core beliefs, how to move to digital operations, and how to better serve residents in rural areas. An answer came in the form of a comprehensive SaaS solution that at once reduced the complexity of navigating the judicial process and increased electronic access to court services.

The integrated, cloud-based solution manages and automates civil and criminal judicial processes across multiple departments, including case management, court management, prosecutor management, probation management, jury management and electronic filling. Moving from manual to automated processes in this comprehensive way has positioned the Choctaw Nation Judicial Branch to be hailed as one of most efficient tribal court systems in the country.

The team effort including Choctaw Nation IT Government Services and the Judicial Branch implemented a court case management system that offers an accessible platform and efficient operations for court staff and patrons. The system was also chosen “with the intent and hope of setting a precedent for other tribal, state, and federal agencies to carry their justice systems into the future,” stated Pam Young, Executive Officer of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma Judicial Branch.

“In the Choctaw Nation core beliefs of faith, family, and culture, the Judicial Branch exists to respect our citizens and allows their voices to be heard,” said John Miller, IT director of government services. “We take pride in offering tribal members and Oklahoma residents a judicial process they can believe in.

All told, the solution revamped the entire judicial process while preserving the jurisdiction’s sovereignty. The judicial branch is on track to be 100% digital in the next five years, and premier justice processes are now available to tribal members not located within easy traveling distance to a court in person.

This innovation and the accompanying return on investment gave the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma Judicial Administration’s the first-ever tribal Tyler Excellence Award win. "We are honored to receive a Tyler Excellence Award and look forward to what the future brings to our tribal courts wtih full utilization of the solution," said Young. View other 2020 Courts & Justice winners.

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