Public Defender System

Overview

In 2008, Court Technology and the Indiana Public Defender Council (Council) struck a partnership to design and develop the Public Defender Information System (PDIS), a statewide computer system available to public defenders through the Council.  The system interfaces seamlessly with the Odyssey Case Management System that is in trial courts and clerks' offices throughout the state.  The Indiana Public Defender Council was awarded funding through the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute to support and enhance the PDIS application.

On September 20, 2010, Floyd and Monroe County Public Defender Offices implemented the PDIS. The attorneys and their staff accessed case information from Odyssey.  They could view and print Chronological Case Summaries and view their court calendar, as well as incorporate and update their personal calendar within the PDIS application.  In November 2010, Washington County joined as a pilot for the PDIS application.  Statewide deployment of the PDIS began with Lawrence County in March 2011.  As of July 2017, the Public Defender Information System is fully deployed in Allen, DeKalb, Delaware, Floyd, Greene, Henry, Jackson, Marion, Monroe, Porter, Rush, Shelby, St. Joseph, Tippecanoe, Vanderburgh and Washington counties.

Additionally, a Working Group provides input to keep the system up to date. The Working Group is comprised of full-time public defenders and private attorneys who provide public defense services on a part-time basis, and public defender office administrators.  Members include:

  • Elizabeth Lane, Paralegal, Washington County Public Defender Office
  • Ann Sutton, Chief Counsel, Marion County Public Defender Agency
  • Heather Stuffle, Office Administrator, Office of Monroe County Public Defender
  • Christal Hampton, Office Administrator, Vanderburgh County Public Defender Office
  • Robert Little, Chief Deputy Public Defender, Tippecanoe County Public Defender Office
  • Tyler Bryan, Office Administrator, Shelby County Public Defender Office

Sample Features

Although one of the most significant features of the Public Defender System is its ability to interface with the Odyssey Case Management System, several other noteworthy features are incorporated into the system, including:

  • eFiling.  Attorneys and office staff can eFile case information to the courts, making them compliant with their counties' paperless rules.
  • Notifications and Alerts.  Attorneys are notified of upcoming hearings and alerted in instances in which a client has been rearrested, violates probation conditions, or has open warrants. 
  • Calendaring.  Scheduling and calendaring functionality is offered for attorneys, including conflict checking.
  • Attorney Assignment.   The system supports assignment of clients to an attorney in both automatic and bulk.
  • Forms and Reports.  Public defenders are able to generate required or essential forms and reports out-of-the-box, such as caseload reports, statistics in case duration, change in pleas and offers, attorney success rates, etc.
  • Case and Client Demographic Information.  The system provides access to data maintained in the judicial case management system (Odyssey CMS), as well as enable public defenders to maintain additional information about their clients.
  • Witness Information Tracking.  The system enables public defenders to track information on witnesses, including interview notes and depositions.
  • Task Assignment.  Public Defenders and Office Administrators are able to assign tasks and subtasks to others as well as themselves and track their progress.

Contact Information

If you would like more information about the Public Defender System project, contact LaJuan Epperson at 317-234-2870 or lajuan.epperson@courts.in.gov  or Don Murphy at (317) 232-5515 or dsmurphy@iquest.net.